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12 January, 2008

Jyoti Basu is CPI (M) nominee for Bharat Ratna award

When I commented upon L. K. Advani’s letter to the Prime Minister seeking the award of Bharat Ratna to A. B. Vajpayee, I did not envisage the possibility of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) advancing claims on behalf of one of its leaders. (See post below)

I had assumed that the Communists would not want to see one of their leaders to accept an honour from a bourgeois government. I guess I was influenced by a story that was in circulation some years ago. It appears the V. P. Singh government considered E. M. S. Namboodiripad, former CPI (M) Chief Minister of Kerala, for an award but dropped the idea after he conveyed his inability to accept any honour.

I was mistaken. Or CPI (M) leaders’ attitude has changed. According to media reports, Politburo member Biman Bose has said that if Jyoti Basu met the criteria for award of Bharat Ratna he could be given the award.

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