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Monday, January 18, 2010

Basu gets state funeral tomorrow; Hasina, Sonia to be present

Kolkata, 18 January : "Jyoti Basu will be given a state funeral tomorrow. Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will led a 30-member delegation to pay tribute to Basu at the state assembly premises where his body will be kept for over five hours," Assembly Speaker Hasim Abdul Halim told mediapersons in Kolkata.
Hasina, who will reach Kolkata in the morning by a special flight, will be accompanied by four of her cabinet colleagues and Bangladesh's former military ruler Hussain Muhammed Ershad who had studied in school and college in West Bengal. Among other leaders to pay homage would be Union ministers Sharad Pawar and S Jaipal Reddy, former Lok Sabha speaker P A Sangma, former prime minister H D Deve Gowda and RJD leader Lalu Prasad Yadav.
Under a changed schedule, Basu's body will be taken from the funeral parlour, where it is being kept, to CPI(M) state headquarters at Alimuddin Street at around 8:30 AM. CPI(M) politburo and Central and state committee members besides leaders of other political parties will pay homage to Basu at the CPI(M) headquarters, CPI(M) state secretary Biman Bose said. From Alimuddin Street, Basu's body will be taken to the state secretariat, Writers Building, for a few minutes where Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee will place wreaths on the body. The body will then be taken to the assembly premises where it will be kept for five hours from 10:00 AM.
Basu's final journey will begin from the assembly premises at 3:00 PM and a guard of honour will be given to him at Moharkunj, a park near SSKM Hospital where his body has been donated.
A holiday has been declared in the state government offices as a mark of respect to the veteran communist leader and mourning processions were taken out across West Bengal with placards reading 'Jyoti Basu Amar Rahe' . Photo : Reuters


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