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S S Ray Visits Basu, Turns Emotional

Close friend for 60 years and once a political adversary of CPI-M veteran Jyoti Basu, Siddhartha Shankar Ray on Monday turned emotional while visiting the ailing 95-year-old former chief minister at the AMRI hospital. Ray,
PTI January 11, 2010 16:09 IST
PTI

Close friend for 60 years and once a political adversary of CPI-M veteran Jyoti Basu, Siddhartha Shankar Ray on Monday turned emotional while visiting the ailing 95-year-old former chief minister at the AMRI hospital.

Ray, himself a former West Bengal chief minister, told reporters, "Amidst serious altercations in the Assembly, I used to say sometimes 'stop all this and let us decide who will go first -- I or you'."

"I think I will go earlier because he (Basu) is stronger," said 90-year-old Ray, who headed a Congress government in the state from 1972-77 before Basu succeeded him as chief minister heading a Left Front government.

Ray, whose Congress regime in the early 70s was described by Marxists as 'semi-fascist', told CPI-M leader Robin Deb who accompanied him, "I do not want to see Basu in this state. Jyoti is a good friend of mine and he is ever a good fighter. He continues to fight."

Ray, who was also a former Punjab governor, said, "I love and like him. I know him for 60 years. He is a fighter...I hope he will succeed. Let's see." PTI