West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, who succeeded Jyoti Basu in 2000, today said the Marxist patriarch had given him confidence when he was hesitant to take over from him.
"He (Basu) decided to hand over the charge of chief ministership to me in 2000, but I was a bit hesitant because I thought it was a big gap. He was a tall leader and I was a small fry. But he gave me full confidence," Bhattacharjee said while condoling 95-year-old Basu's death.
"He was an able administrator and could take the right decision at the right time - be it law and order situation or a communal problem, the chief minister said, adding, "I tried to learn from him."
"He is the architect of the industrial policy which I am pursuing now... I had gone to him to seek his advice on many matters. Now I feel I have to carry out his unfinished work," the WB chief minister said.
Terming it was a great loss for the country and a personal loss to him, Bhattacharjee described Basu as a monument of Left movement.
The chief minister said he had seen Basu giving leadership to the working class during the time of Congress regime between 1972 to 1977. "He was courageous and inspiring to us when I joined the cabinet in 1977."
"I accompanied him on various tours in the country and abroad," he said.