Remembering Jyoti Basu: The longest-serving Chief Minister of West Bengal

In 1977, he was elected as the Chief Minister of West Bengal, a position he held for a record 23 years until 2000.

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Monday, January 16, 2023, 04:57 PM IST
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Former WB CM Jyoti Basu | Wikimedia Commons

Jyoti Basu, the former Chief Minister of West Bengal and a leading figure in India's Communist movement, passed away on January 17, 2010. Today marks the 13th anniversary of his death.

Longest serving CM of West Bengal

Basu was born on July 8, 1914 in Kolkata (then Calcutta), and began his political career as a member of the Communist Party of India (CPI) in 1940. He quickly rose through the ranks of the party and became a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) in 1946. In 1977, he was elected as the Chief Minister of West Bengal, a position he held for a record 23 years until 2000.

During his tenure as Chief Minister, Basu implemented a number of policies aimed at improving the lives of the state's poor and marginalized communities. He introduced land reforms, expanded access to education and healthcare, and implemented programs to provide employment and basic necessities such as food and housing.

Strong advocate for federalism

Basu was also a strong advocate for federalism and the rights of states within the Indian Union. He was a vocal critic of the central government's policies and often took a stand against what he saw as attempts to undermine the autonomy of the states.

Despite his strong political convictions, Basu was known for his pragmatic approach to governance. He was able to bring together different political parties and social groups to work towards common goals. His leadership style was marked by a willingness to listen to different perspectives and a focus on finding common ground.

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