Bangla PM, Sonia among leaders to pay homage to Basu tomorrow


"Jyoti Basu will be given a state funeral tomorrow. Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will led a 30-member delegation to pay tribute to Basu at the assembly premises where his body will be kept for over five hours," Assembly Speaker Hasim Abdul Halim told reporters here.
Among other leaders to pay homage would be union ministers Sharad Pawar and Jaipal Reddy, former Lok Sabha speaker P A Sangma, former prime minister H D Deve Gowda and RJD leader Lalu Prasad, Chief Secretary Ashok Mohan Chakraborty said.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) stalwart L.K. Advani, party president Nitin Gadkari and Janata Dal United (JD-U) leader Sharad Yadav will fly in to the city Tuesday afternoon to pay their last respects at the state assembly where Basu's body will be kept for public viewing, BJP sources said.
All members of the CPI-M politburo and several central committee members will attend the last journey of the former West Bengal chief minister.
Asked whether representatives of communist parties from abroad will be present, Bose said: "No names have been confirmed yet".
In New Delhi, Congress spokesperson Shakeel Ahmed confirmed Sonia Gandhi would be going to Kolkata Tuesday.
The Congress chief had written to Jyoti Basu's son Chandan Basu Sunday to condole the death and had described the Marxist leader as a "tireless crusader against communalism" and a "warrior for social justice".
The Congress president said Basu "did not go gently into the night - he fought bravely until his last breath, just as he did throughout his life. And what a rich, fulfilled and glorious life he had."
Sonia Gandhi also said that Basu had contributed to the formation of the United Progressive Alliance government in 2004. "We continued to count on him for his wise counsel even after he retired from political life," she said, adding that his demise had left millions of his political followers in the country feeling bereft.
There will be no funeral of Basu on Tuesday as he has pledged his body for medical research. The body will be handed over to a government-run hospital Tuesday. His eyes have already been donated.
Under a changed schedule, Basu's body will be taken from the funeral parlour where it is being kept and taken to CPI(M) headquarters at Alimuddin Street at around 8:30 am.
CPI-M politburo and Central and State Committee members besides leaders of other political parties will pay homage to the Marxist patriarch at the CPI-M headquarters, party state secretary Biman Bose said.

From Alimuddin Street, his body will be taken to the state secretariat, Writers Building, for a few minutes where Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and Chief Secretary Ashok Mohan Chakraborty will place wreaths on the body.
The body will then be taken to the assembly premises where it will be kept for five hours from 10:00 am, Halim said.
Basu's last journey will begin from the assembly premises at 3:00 PM.
A guard of honour will be given to him at Moharkunj, a park near SSKM Hospital, where his body has been donated, Bose said.

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