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Biman to stay, says Jyoti Basu

With Biman Bose threatening to resign, Jyoti Basu goes on a fire fighting mission, reports Aloke Banerjee.

kolkata Updated: May 04, 2007 21:15 IST

With Biman Bose threatening to resign from the post of Left Front chairman amidst sharp criticism by the Left allies against CPI (M)'s role in Nandigram violence, party patriarch Jyoti Basu went on a fire fighting mission on Friday saying there would be no change of guard in the Front.

"No, No. There is no question of replacing him. Who is there to replace him even if our Front partners want it?" Basu said after the state secretariat meeting of the party. The issue was discussed during the meeting where Biman was reportedly asked not to make any public announcement in future that he wanted to quit as the Front chairman.

Bose had expressed his desire to resign following the RSP's demand last week that veteran Forward Bloc leader Ashok Ghosh be allowed to head a committee to bring back peace in Nandigram as the present set up was not yielding any result in bringing in normalcy in the trouble-torn area. Bose had interpreted the suggestion as an expression of no confidence in his leadership.

Jyoti Basu's insistence that Biman would continue to be the Front chairman, however, failed to silence the other allies of the CPI(M) who decided to seek an explanation on the issue during the Left Front meting to be held on Monday.

The Forward bloc, RSP and the CPI, which met separately earlier in the week, decided to tell Biman during the Front meeting that he had damaged the credibility and prestige of the Left front by publicly announcing to quit.

"Bose has raised the issue himself. We did not ask him to resign. So we will ask him to explain what led him to take such a decision without even discussing it with us," CPI(M) state secretary Manju Majumdar said.

Forward Bloc leader Hafiz Alam Sairani and RSP leader Manoj Bhattacharjee said that their parties would also raise the issue during the Front meeting and seek explanations from Biman.

According to insiders, CPI(M) general secretary Prakash karat, too, has asked Biman to drop the idea of quitting as Front chairman saying that public utterances such as these would give a handle to the opponents of the CPI(M).

First Published: May 04, 2007 20:39 IST