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Veteran Marxist leader Jyoti Basu turns 94

Perhaps the best b'day gift was from an Asansol-based sculptor Susanta Roy, who gave him a 16-inch 22 carat gold-plated figurine of the leader.
PTI | By HT Correspondent, Kolkata
UPDATED ON JUL 09, 2007 06:25 AM IST

Fans and well-wishers of veteran Communist leader and former West Bengal chief minister Jyoti Basu today celebrated his 94th birthday at his Salt Lake residence, Indira Bhavan.

The nonagenarian Marxist leader was in a jovial mood since morning as school children, partymen and celebrities from different walks of life visited his house to convey their wishes.

Perhaps the best birthday gift was from an Asansol-based sculptor Susanta Roy who personally handed over to the veteran Marxist a 16-inch 22 carat gold-plated figurine of the leader.

The statuette is embossed on a silver plate and is a life-like replica of the leader. It took about a month to complete the work.

The CPI(M) politburo leader himself was overawed with the perfection of the replica.

Bengali film actress Rituparna Sengupta, party leader Subhas Chakraborty and his wife Romala Chakraborty, Rabin Deb and Forward Bloc leader Ashok Ghosh were among those who were present on the occasion to convey their wishes to the country's longest serving chief minister.

Speaking on the occasion, Basu said, "celebration of birthday is not the culture of the Marxists excepting the birthday of departed party leader Muzaffar Ahmed."

"Since a large number of school children rushed to my house to convey their wishes and present bouquets, I cannot dishearten them," Basu said.

The queue of well wishers was so long that Basu could not receive flowers or bouquets from all personally.

The veteran leader, in white dhoti and a kurta, thanked all those who came to greet him.

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