Thousands bid farewell to Jyoti Basu in Kolkata

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Kolkata, Jan 19 (ANI): Thousands of party workers and well wishers gathered in Kolkata on Tuesday to bid farewell to Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) patriarch Jyoti Basu.

Basu's body, draped in the national flag and placed in a gun carriage was carried to Mohur Kunj, where the State police personnel offered a 21-gun salute to the former Chief Minister.

The national tri-colour was draped on the body over the party's red flag with personnel drawn from the Army, Navy and Air Force standing at attention. A large portrait of Basu with folded hands formed the background.

Basu's body will be handed to the SSKM Hospital in Kolkata later this evening.

Basu's body was earlier kept at the State Assembly premises, draped in the national flag where many dignitaries and important national and international personalities paid their respects.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi accompanied by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee paid floral tribute to Basu at the assembly premises earlier.

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was also present with a 40-member delegation to pay her tribute to Basu.

Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader LK Advani and BJP president Nitin Gadkari also paid floral tribute.

Basu's body was first taken from the funeral parlour 'Peace Heaven' to the CPI (M) Headquarters at 31, Alimuddin Street. It was later taken to the Writers Building the State Secretariat for a few minutes, where Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee placed a wreath on the body.

The body was then taken to the Assembly premises, where it was kept from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Around 2,000 police personnel were deployed during the whole ceremony. (ANI)

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