Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan on Saturday visited a city private hospital where Marxist leader Jyoti Basu is described by doctors attending on him to be in a very critical condition.
Bachchan, who was here in the city to promote his film "Rann", spent half-an-hour at the hospital and spoke to doctors about Basu's condition.
"He waited with all of us on the ninth floor of the hospital. He has left a 'get well soon' note for Basu," CPI-M leader Md. Salim told reporters on emerging from the hospital after Bachchan left.
Draped in a black suit and red tie, Bachchan, however, did not speak to the media. He left the hospital premises after a namaskar (with folded hands) to hundreds of his fans who gathered outside.
"Though he was asked to go to the seventh floor (where Basu is staying), he maintained that he will inquire about Basu's condition from the doctors and not go to the seventh floor as dialysis was going on."
Others present in the hospital premises during Bachchan's visit were CPI-M general secretary Prakash Karat, his wife and party comrade Brinda Karat, former West Bengal chief minister Siddhartha Shankar Ray and former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee. The communist icon was hospitalised after a pneumonia attack and admitted to the Intensive Cardiac Care Unit (ICCU) of the Salt Lake-based AMRI hospital Jan 1.
Born 1914 in Kolkata, Basu became chief minister of West Bengal in June 1977. He stepped down voluntarily on health grounds in November 2000.
Siddhartha Shankar Ray, who visited Basu for the second time Saturday, said: "If he stays well, I will visit again."