Letter from Jyoti Basu to Harikishan Singh Surjeet


Beloved Comrade Surjeet,

I am deeply grieved to hear about your continued illness. I was just now reminiscing how for long years we have been working together particularly after the split of the party. I can never forget the role you played in organising and giving leadership to the Party.

I particularly remember the day when due my illness I wanted to leave the responsibility given to me by the Party, as Chief Minister of West Bengal. You came and met me in my house. Then you seemed to be nervous, thought that this may adversely affect the Party. After discussion then we worked out a formula that we would create a new post of Deputy Chief Minister, who will later on be the Chief Minister and I shall not stand for election. That formula worked very well. Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee was very well accepted both by the Party and the people of West Bengal. So, at the end of my tenure, I resigned and Buddhadeb took over the Chief Ministership. I also remember with pride how you helped the Party to flourish in different provinces.

I also remember how you did agree with me that the unity of the Left parties in West Bengal is essential and I feel proud that the Left Front government carried on thirtyone years with the support and love of the people of the state.

I remember you also played host to my family when we went to Punjab. Though I am older than you and now almost bedridden, I am confident that our Party will go forward from success to success in many parts of India. Despite many crests and ebbs people will finally emerge victorious and go in for a classless society free from exploitation of any form.

At the end, I want to remember with pride the role you played in the new political situation in country to keep the communal BJP at bay. We extended our outside support to Congress, incumbent upon the basis of the Common Minimum Programme and the interests of the people and the country.

Jyoti Basu
May 21, 2008

From India News Network (INN)
Kolkata, May 21, 2008