Basu wishes to be relieved of Polit Bureau responsibility

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Kolkata, Feb 22: Wishing once again to be relieved of the highest responsibilities, CPI(M) patriarch Jyoti Basu today said he no more wanted to remain a member of the party's Polit Bureau. The nonagenarian leader said he had already informed the party about his desire.

'' No, I do not have that intention....I have informed the party about it,'' he told reporters after the CPI(M) state secretariat meeting when asked whether he wanted to remain in the party's highest policy making body. Mr Basu, who had been keeping indifferent health over the past few years, said he would also not be able to attend the CPI(M) party congress to be held at Hyderabad on February 25 and 26. '' I have written to Prakash (Karat) in this regard,'' he said. Citing his age and failing health, Mr Basu expressed his desire to be relieved of the Polit Bureau responsibilities for the first time before the CPI(M) party congress in Delhi in 2005.

He, however, had to attend the party congress and remain a Polit Bureau member after being coaxed by his junior comrades. But since then, he stopped attending party meetings, if held outside the city.

The last time he publicly wanted to step down was after the CPI(M) State conference last month.

Party sources, however, said even if Mr Basu did not continue to be an effective member of the Polit Bureau, he would remain a life member along with former General Secretary Harkishan Singh Surjeet.

UNI

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