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Somnath Says He Lost Father For Second Time In Basu's Death

PTI 17 Jan 2010, 15:41:15 IST

"Personally I have lost my father for the second time in Jyoti Basu's death," former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee said on Sunday while expressing his deep shock over the Marxist patriarch's death.

Chatterjee, who was very close to Basu, described him as a "people's leader".

"Basu used to say frequently 'don't get detached from the people. If you are detached from the people, nothing remains of politics.' We now understand this," he said.

"People from all walks of life and from other parties had accepted him as a leader. That proves he was truly a mass leader," Chatterjee, who visited Basu in the hospital everyday where he was admitted on January one, said.

Chatterjee said he had the fortune of coming in close contact with him. "There will not be any replacement of Basu," he added.

Former state finance minister Ashok Mitra, who was sworn in along with Basu when the first Left Front government came to power in West Bengal in 1977, said, "Five of us had taken the oath, but he was the giant. Now he has also left, only I remain." PTI