Chronology of Jyoti Basu’s life


Kolkata : Jyoti Basu, who died here Sunday, resigned from active politics in 2000 but continued to guide the communist movement in India.

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Following is a chronology of his life:

– Born in Calcutta (now Kolkata), July 8, 1914.

– Graduated from Presidency College with honours in English. He did his Bar at Law from London where he got introduced to Marxism and politics.

– Returned to India in 1940. Joined Communist Party of India (CPI).

– In 1944 he was a functionary of Bengal railway workers’ union.

– In 1946 he was elected to the Bengal legislative assembly, defeating Humayun Kabir of Congress.

– He won from Baranagar assembly constituency in 1952, 1957, 1962, 1967, 1969 and 1971. He lost the seat in the 1972 snap polls.

– In 1964, he helped set up the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M).

– In 1967, he became deputy chief minister in a coalition government in Bengal.

– Became chief minister of West Bengal June 21, 1977 and headed the Left Front government till Nov 6, 2000.

– Narrowly missed a chance to become India’s prime minister in 1996 after his party’s veto. He later called the party decision a “historic blunder”.

– In 2000, he announced his retirement from active politics and stepped down as chief minister on health grounds.

– In 2004, he played a key role to stitch an alliance between the Left parties and the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA).