Jyoti Basu's centenary celebrations to begin July 8

Kolkata, June 26 (IANS) Release of a memorial volume, and year-long programmes throughout West Bengal highlighting his life and philosophy would mark late West Bengal Chief Minister and marxist patriarch Jyoti Basu's centenary celebrations beginning July 8.

Basu's s ideals that helped in consolidating the unity of the working class' movement would also be emphasised before the new generation workers and employees during the celebrations, the Communist Party of India Marxist (CPI-M) labour wing CITU's West Bengal committee said in a statement.

Bengal's legendary Marxist - born July 8, 1914 - was the founder-vice president of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU).

The centenary celebrations would be launched through raising of the CITU flag and garlanding of Basu's portrait at its state headquarters Shramik BhawanJuly 8. Similar programmes would be organised in all offices of the CITU and its affiliate units through the day.

"All units across the state would host various programmes till July 8 next year. The programmes would highlight Basu's life and philosophy and initiatives would be taken to showcase his ideals that helped in the spread of the united movement of the working class," CITU state general secretary Dipak Dasgupta said in the statement.

In August, a book of tributes containing write-ups of the workers' and left movements would be brought out by CITU.

The organisation's state president and CPI-M central committee member Shyamal Chakraborty has already appealed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to issue a set of postage stamps to mark the occasion.

Basu was at the helm of affairs in West Bengal for over 23 years from 1977, the longest chief ministerial tenure in India. He voluntarily stepped down Nov 6, 2000 due to ill health.

Basu almost became India's prime minister in 1996 at the head of a centre-Left United Front government. But the CPI-M vetoed the proposal, and the leader later dubbed the party's decision a "historical blunder". He died January 17, 2010.

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