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Guard of honour, gun salute for Basu
Published on 19 Jan. 2010 1:23 AM IST
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Veteran Marxist leader Jyoti Basu will be given a guard of honour and a gun salute on his last journey Tuesday before his body is handed over to a hospital here for use in medical research. There will be no funeral and no last rites in keeping with Basu’s wishes. He had already pledged his body for medical research and donated his eyes. Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) West Bengal secretary Biman Bose said Monday that Basu’s body will be taken out of Peace Haven - a funeral parlour in central Kolkata where it is now lying embalmed - at 7.30 a.m. Tuesday. Announcing a revised schedule of Basu’s last journey, he said the cortege will navigate through Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Road, Park Street and A.J.C. Bose Road in the central part of Kolkata and reach the CPI-M’s state headquarters Muzaffar Ahmed Bhavan on Alimuddin Street around 8 a.m. “The body will be kept at the party office till 9 a.m. All members of the party’s politburo, central committee, state committee, district-level party cadres and leaders of the state’s ruling Left Front will be allowed to garland the body and pay their last homage,” Bose said. The procession will reach the state secretariat Writers’ Buildings at 9.45 a.m. and be there for the next 10 minutes. The cortege will head for the state legislative assembly at 10 a.m. where the body will be kept till 3 p.m. for his followers and other people to pay their last respects. “We will keep the body at the state assembly for almost five hours so that people, including political dignitaries from home and abroad, can pay homage,” he said. The last journey will start at 3 p.m. and traverse through Red Road and Cathedral Road and finally terminate at the government-run SSKM Hospital on Harish Mukherjee Road. Before the body is handed over to the hospital, a gun salute will be given to the former West Bengal chief minister at Mohar Kunj, earlier called Citizens’ Park, located close to the SSKM Hospital premises. A condolence book will be kept open at the Alimuddin Street party office for people to pay their condolences. Hasina, Sonia to attend last journey Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi will be among a host of dignitaries scheduled to arrive here Tuesday to pay their last respects to Marxist patriarch Jyoti Basu. Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee will represent the central government, CPI-M West Bengal state secretary Biman Bose told mediapersons here. Bose said several other central ministers, including Urban Development Minister S. Jaipal Reddy, have also said they would be present when Basu’s body is taken out of the funeral parlour, Peace Haven - where it is now embalmed - and handed over to a state-run hospital. RJD chief Lalu Prasad is reaching the city Monday to attend Basu’s last journey. Top leaders of other national parties are also scheduled to attend, Bose said. BJP stalwart L.K. Advani, party president Nitin Gadkari and JD-U leader Sharad Yadav will fly in to the city Tuesday afternoon to pay their last respects. at the state assembly where Basu’s body will be kept for public viewing, BJP sources said. All members of the CPI-M politburo and several central committee members will attend the last journey of the former West Bengal chief minister. Asked whether representatives of communist parties from abroad will be present, Bose said: “No names have been confirmed yet”.

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