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''Buddhadeb is the face of Bengal'': Jyoti Basu

Written by: Staff

Kolkata, May 11 (UNI) Veteran Marxist leader Jyoti Basu today lavished praise on Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, terming him the ''face of Bengal'' as the Left Front stormed to power in the state for a record seventh term.

The five-time former Chief Minister lauded Mr Bhattacharjee for the huge victory. ''He is the face of Bengal. People have voted for him. His victory margin of over 50,000 votes speaks for itself,'' he told a television channel.

Mr Bhattacharjee, who is widely perceived to be pro-reforms and has often taken a stand in contrast to the CPI(M) on economic issues, led the communist coalition to a resounding victory in the just-concluded assembly polls.

The Chief Minister has often ruffled the feathers of hardliners in the CPI(M) with his support for FDI in the state, opposition to hardcore elements in trade union activity and indiscriminate bandhs, especially in the IT sector.

He also restructured sick industries and privatised loss-making PSUs, which is vehemently opposed by the Left at the central level.

Mr Bhattacharjee won the the Jadavpur seat by a margin of more than 58,000 votes and is all set to embark on a second term in office.

''It is our victory...the win is an endorsement of the electorate of my party'policies,'' Mr Bhattacharjee said, soon after being declared elected.

UNI RR BA/src1627

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