CPI-M delegation meets Mamata over Jyoti Basu centre impasse

Kolkata: A CPI-M delegation on Friday met West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to resolve the impasse over the left party not getting possession of a plot of land purchased by it for setting up a research centre in the name of late party patriarch Jyoti Basu.

Member of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) state secretariat Rabin Deb, who was part of the delegation, said his party had been allotted a five-acre plot of land by the erstwhile Left Front government in January, 2011 to build the Jyoti Basu Centre for Social Studies and Research in the Rajarhat-Newtown area.

“Accordingly, we paid the full amount for the land in two instalments to the West Bengal Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation (HIDCO) by the first half of May, 2011. However, after the present (Trinamool Congress) government came to power, we were not given possession of the land,” said Deb.

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The CPI-M had originally planned to launch the centre on Basu’s centenary in 2014, and its leaders called on Banerjee and Municipal Affairs and Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim to pursue the matter.

“But the Chief Minister had told us that the minister would take care of the matter. But the government later told us that it was prepared to allot a separate land for the centre.

“We inspected this plot, but found that it was on a marsh land. Then we told the government that since we had already paid the full amount for a specific plot of land on the main road, we would go for that plot only,” said Deb.

On Friday, when the CPI-M leaders met her, Banerjee told them there was some dispute over the plot of land allotted to the party earlier.

“We have told the Chief Minister that we can go for a joint inspection of the plot with the minister and HIDCO officials to see if there was any dispute. But to the best of our knowledge, there is no dispute,” said Deb.

Jyoti Basu, one of the founding politburo members of the CPI-M, was the Chief Minister of West Bengal during the Left Front rule from 1977-2000 before voluntarily stepping down owing to ill-health and old age. He passed away on Janaury 17, 2010.

The CPI-M plans to utilise the centre to store documents concerning the leader as also the communist movements in India and elsewhere in the world.

The proposed centre is scheduled to have digitised information on Basu, besides housing an auditorium, a conference room, a seminar room, a library and guest rooms.


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