Kolkata, Oct 10 (IANS) Kiranmoy Nanda, the Samajwadi Party's vice president, who had served as the fisheries minister of West Bengal for a long time during the previous Left Front regime, became nostalgic in Kolkata, recollecting his memories of interactions between Mulayam Singh Yadav and the nonagenarian Indian Marxist patriarch, Late Jyoti Basu.
Mulayam Singh Yadav, the founder of Samajwadi party (SP) and three-time Chief Minister and former Defence Minister passed away on Monday in a Gurugram hospital in Haryana.
The SP was a part of the Left Front alliance in West Bengal, and Nanda had held the important portfolio of the state fisheries minister for 20 years from 1991 to 2011 under the leadership of both Late Jyoti Basu and Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.
'His personal equation with Jyoti Basu was extremely cordial. They both had mutual admiration towards each other which had been reflected on several occasions,' Nanda said.
Nanda came to Kolkata from New Delhi on Sunday afternoon, and on Monday after getting the news of Mulayam Singh Yadav's demise, hurriedly left for Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata to leave for New Delhi. Nanda also pointed out that the fact that Samajwadi Party had held its national conference in Kolkata on several occasions following the insistence of late Mulayam Singh Yadav was an example of the latter's close connections with the city.
In fact, Mulayam Singh vociferously criticized CPI(M) when the party's politburo and central committee declined to give nod to an offer made to Jyoti Basu to become the Indian Prime minister in 1996.
'Had his own party allowed Jyoti Basu to become the Prime Minister, the country would have benefitted. A leader of his stature is above all party lines. His followers could have followed his example at a later stage, Singh had said then, recollected Nanda.
In fact, at a later stage Basu himself also described that decision of the party as an 'historic blunder'.
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