Nonagenarian Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader and former West Bengal chief minister Jyoti Basu was on Friday admitted to a private hospital following a severe chest infection.
"He has a chest infection. There is congestion in the chest," Basu's personal physician Nisith Roy said shortly after the former chief minister was brought to the Apollo Gleneagles Hospital in an ambulance.
The 96-year-old leader, who was suffering from cough and cold, underwent an x-ray at his Salt Lake residence, after which doctors advised hospitalisation.
"He has a mild breathing problem," Roy said.
The doctors were conducting a series of tests on Basu, who was accompanied by son Chandan and his personal assistant Joy Krishna Ghosh to the hospital.
"He may be in hospital for two-four days," Roy said.
Earlier, CPI-M sources said Basu has fluctuating temperature. "But he is completely in his senses."
Basu, who was chief minister for 23 years, has been ailing for long due to various old-age complications.
The communist patriarch was hospitalised in July following gastro-intestinal complications and transient loss of consciousness.
Earlier, in May he injured his left leg after a fall at home. This prevented him from casting his vote in the April-May Lok Sabha poll - the first time in 63 years that he did not vote.
In 2007, he had cracked a rib after a fall in the bathroom.
Born 1914 in Kolkata, Basu became chief minister in June 1977. He stepped down voluntarily on health grounds in November 2000. One of the founding members of the CPI-M, Basu almost became India's prime minister in 1996 as the head of a coalition government. But the CPI-M vetoed the proposal.