Flood of gifts, flowers for Jyoti Basu on 95th birthday

July 8th, 2008 - 3:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, July 8 (IANS) Former West Bengal chief minister and Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) patriarch Jyoti Basu celebrated his 95th birthday Tuesday with hundreds of supporters carrying flowers and gifts gathering outside his Salt Lake residence. “Nowadays I can hardly walk due to my old age. I could hardly sleep Monday night since I was worried about whether my health will permit me to meet my well-wishers Tuesday. I am overwhelmed and rejuvenated to see so many people, including school children, waiting to greet me on a weekday, ignoring the drizzle,” Basu said.

“I have always worked for the people and will continue to do so till my last breath. I had to resign from the post of chief minister because of health reasons. I can barely attend a political meeting or two now, but the support of the people always reassures me that they will be there for me and the Left Front government,” he added.

Pather Panchali - a cultural organisation supported by Transport Minister Subhas Chakraborty - gave Basu a cheque of Rs.1 million along with a bouquet of roses arranged in the shape of 95 and a box of 95 sweets.

“I will donate the cheque to my party fund to be used for the rehabilitation of flood victims of East and West Midnapore districts,” Basu said.

A website dedicated to Basu was launched by Pather Panchali the same day.

“The website contains all known and unknown details of Basu’s life along with rare pictures,” Chakraborty said.

Mayor Bikash Bhattacharjee, singer Suchitra Mitra and footballer Sailen Manna were present at the launch where 95 balloons were released in air to wish Basu a long life. This was followed by a cultural programme by artists from across the state and school students.

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