Basu turns 94, urges Opposition to support industrialisation
Kolkata, July 8 (UNI) Veteran Communist leader Jyoti Basu, who turned 94 today, urged the Opposition in West Bengal to support the Left Front Government's industrialisation move.
'' I take this opportunity to wish our Opposition too and urge them to support our industrialisation efforts. All that we are doing are not bad after all, '' he said at his birthday celebration, attended by an assorted crowd of politicians, sportspersons, artistes and school children.
The programme, held at the CPI(M) patriarch's Indira Bhavan residence at Salt Lake, was organised by his long time protege and Transport Minister Subhash Chakraborty.
'' We are now on top in agriculture and panchayat rule and fourth in industry. We will be on top in industrialisation too in a few years The opposition should support our good work, '' he said.
The nonagenarian leader, who headed the Left Front Government since 1977 before passing on the baton to Mr Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, said the foundation of the industriasation move would be based on the state's success in agriculture and efforts would be made to develop the small and medium sectors.
'' We received more than 50 per cent votes in the last Assembly elections. We have the popular support, '' he said in an apparent hint that the people's verdict was in favour of industrialisation.
Mr Basu, who completed 67 years in politics, was initiated into Marxism by Rajani Palm Dutta while in England. He joined the undivided Communist party after coming back to the country as a barrister.
'' I told our party's founder Muzaffar Ahmed that I do not want to be a barrister but I want to join politics, '' he said while recalling the past.
'' At that time my family was also not used to it. But today I feel satisfied, '' he said.
Ms Romola Chakraborty, Transport Minister's wife and the main organiser of the function, announced that a committee had been set up to make a documentary film on the grand old man of Indian politics.
'' We also want to name the mega city township at Rajarhat after Mr Basu, '' she said.
The longest serving Chief Minister in the country, Mr Basu did his schooling from Loreto and St Xavier before graduatiing from Presidency college in 1935. He then studied law in England to become a barrister.
Elected to the Bengal Legislative Assembly for the first time in 1946 on the Communist party of India (CPI) ticket, he took a prominent role all along in parliamentary democracy. He joined the CPI(M) in 1964 that was formed after splitting out of the CPI in 1964.
After Independence, he was elected to the West Bengal Assembly eleven times between 1952 and 1996.