President Pratibha Patil today condoled the death of former West Bengal Chief Minister Jyoti Basu and said the nation has lost an eminent statesman.
"Basu earned the unique distinction of being the longest-serving Chief Minister of any state from the late seventies to the year 2000," the President said in her condolence message.
"During his political career he displayed his abilities as a leader of the people, an able administrator and an eminent statesman. In the years after he relinquished the Chief Ministership, he continued to be looked upon as an elder
statesman, whose advice was sought by many political leaders in the state," Patil said.
She said in his passing away the nation has lost a veteran and an eminent public figure.
Vice President Hamid Ansari said the sagacity and leadership of the Marxist patriarch "at both the state and
national level has been a source of inspiration and guidance."
"Basu has made significant contribution to public life and especially to the development of West Bengal," he said.
The Vice President said the veteran leader's demise leaves a void which will be very difficult to fill.