Basu reiterates desire to stepdown from Polit Bureau

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Kolkata, Feb 22 (UNI) Veteran Marxist leader and former Chief Minister of West Bengal Jyoti Basu today reiterated that he wanted to stepdown from the CPI(M) Polit Bureau because of his failing health.

He said he would not be able to attend the CPI(M) party congress to be held on February 25 and 26 on health grounds.

''I will not be able to attend the party congress. I have written to our General Secretary Prakash Karat in this regard,'' he told reporters after attending the party's State Secretariat meeting.

In reply to a question, whether he wished to remain a member of the Polit Bureau, he only gave a stoic reply, ''No.'' Mr Basu expressed his desire to be relieved of the Polit Bureau responsibilities for the first time before the CPI(M) party congress in 2005.

The 94-year old leader, who has been keeping an indifferent health for the past few years has already stopped attending Polit Bureau meetings if held outside the city.

The last time he publicly wanted to step down as one of the members of the party's policy making body was after the CPI(M) State Committee Meeting last month.

However, even if Mr Basu doesn't remain an effective member of the Polit Bureau he, along with former general Secretary Harkishen Singh Surjeet, will remain a life members of it, according to a party decision.

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