Jyoti Basu in hospital, condition stable


Kolkata : Marxist patriarch and former West Bengal chief minister Jyoti Basu was Sunday admitted to a private hospital here following breathing problem and old age related complications. But the doctors attending to him said his condition is stable.

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Basu, 96, was driven in an ambulance to the AMRI hospital near his Salt Lake residence Indira Bhavan a little before noon after he spent a restless night.

“Basu apparently lost consciousness twice in the morning. He has weakness and giddiness. But now he is more stable,” the hospital’s medical superintendent Debasish Sharma told IANS.

He has been admitted to the intensive cardiac care unit and a panel of doctors has been formed for his treatment, he said.

The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader was given oxygen on the way to the hospital but “now his oxygenation level is satisfactory”, Sharma said.

“He is now better,” the veteran leader’s son Chandan Basu told reporters.

Basu, who was state chief minister for 23 straight years, has a clot in the brain from a fall at his Salt Lake residence September last year. The doctors had advised surgery but Basu did not opt for it.

Basu injured his left leg after another fall at his home May 13. This prevented him from casting his vote in the Lok Sabha polls two months back. It was the first time in 63 years that he did not vote.

Former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee and top CPI-M leader and state transport minister Subhas Chakraborty were among those who rushed to the hospital.

“He spoke to me. His condition has improved,” Chakraborty told reporters after coming out of Basu’s room.

Born 1914 in Kolkata in a wealthy family, Basu became state chief minister in 1977. He stepped down voluntarily on health grounds in November 2000.

The last of the nine founding politburo members of the CPI-M, Basu almost became India’s prime minister in 1996 as the head of the United Front government. But the CPI-M vetoed the proposal, forcing him to dub the party’s decision as a “historical blunder”.