New Delhi: None of the Marxist party leaders paid tributes to their former leader, Jyoti Basu, one of the longest-serving Chief Minister in India, on his birth anniversary.
One is not sure whether the word 'Fate' has relevance in the communism lexicon.
Had the veteran Marxist leader continued for some months more in office, Jyoti Basu would have completed 25 years – that is a quarter of a century as the Chief Minister of West Bengal.
But it was the twist of Fate on July 8, Thursday, in-state assembly premises in Kolkata when no Left representation in Bengal legislature could be present to pay homage to legendary Marxist Jyoti Basu on his birth anniversary.
His admirers often say Basu was the 'best Prime Minister' India could not have because of politburo hurdles.
Red bastion, West Bengal is today 'Left-less'!
"It is mere fate. It is Jyoti Basu's birthday and not a single Left leader or MLA is here," mocked senior Trinamool Congress leader Madan Mitra.
Of course – thanks to the 2021 mandate – the state rejected Leftists completely, and they scored a big 'zero' in an election – which ironically they cherish as 'victory' of so-called secularism.
"We are paying respect … If the Communist leaders wanted to come, would we stop them?" said Mitra, who always had major issues with the Left cadres and the Leftist policies.
The BJP members also paid tribute to the former Chief Minister.
"Our culture is to pay respect to all leaders. Hence, we are paying respect to Jyoti Basu. People did not have faith in the Left-Congress- ISF alliance. Hence, they did not get any vote," BJP leader Manoj Tigga told reporters.
Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya (CPI), a Rajya Sabha MP, suggested that state Assembly Speaker Biman Bandyopadhyay could have called some prominent Left leaders to pay tribute to Jyoti Basu. "It is basic courtesy;" he remarked.
Born on July 8, 1914, Basu breathed last on January 17, 2010, and was state Chief Minister for a record stint between June 21, 1977, to October 28, 2000.
Once the dominant political force in the state, the Left Front and their alliance partners Congress and ISF suffered humiliated defeat in this year's polls.
The BJP seats jumped from 3 in 2016 to 77 and, of course, now Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress is in power in the state.
In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the Left parties could not open their account in the erstwhile Left forte.
It may be mentioned that under Basu, the Left Front could win five successive state elections in West Bengal and all with majorities of two-thirds and more.