The memorial service for Jyoti Basu in Kolkata on Sunday once again brought the CPI(M) and Trinamool allies the Congress and Suci together, as it bracketed the Trinamool with its former NDA ally the BJP.
While the Congress made it clear it would rise above political affiliations to pay tributes to the former West Bengal chief minister, the Trinamool and the BJP refused to share platform with the CPI(M). Their reasons were similar.
“None of our leaders attended the function because of the party’s decision to not share the dais with CPI(M) leaders,” a Trinamool leader said. BJP state president Rahul Sinha said the CPI(M) deliberately held the service on an open ground “to convert it into a mass political rally”.
The speeches delivered by Congress and Suci representatives are sure to discomfort Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee. State Congress acting president Subrata Mukherjee said it was not mere political courtesy. “We felt a deep urge to pay respects to the great leader who never insulted the opposition. Basu used to say unless you have a great heart you cannot become a great leader. He was possibly the greatest leader Bengal gifted to the nation,” he said.
Suci state secretary Prabhash Ghosh said, “Basu was a disciplined follower of his party’s policies. But that never prompted him to hold a personal grievance against the opposition.”