Kolkata: Jyoti Basu, veteran Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader who was West Bengal chief minister for 23 years and straddled Indian politics for over six decades, died here Sunday after a prolonged illness. He was 95.
'Jyoti Basu is no more,' said party state secretary Biman Bose.
Early Sunday morning, two doctors on the medical board at the AMRI Hospital, where the 95-year-old leader is admitted, Dr Susrut Banerjee and Dr Ajit Kumar Maity, said, 'his heartbeat dropped below 50 when the normal is 60 and a temporary pacemaker was installed'.
Asked about his condition after the installation of the pacemaker, they said, 'it's pretty bad'.
Before the rate of his heartbeat dropped, his blood pressure also declined when he was on Slow Low Efficiency Daily Dialysis (SLEDD), Dr Banerjee said. 'The toxic elements in his system were leading to acidosis. His metabolic rate increased as the dialysis failed to dispose of the toxins in his system,' Banerjee, a critical care specialist, said.
The SLEDD, which was to be underway for eight hours, was stoppedafter seven-and-a-half hours because of the drop in blood pressure.
Dr Maity, Basu's personal physician, said, 'Since he has suffered multi-organ failure, the effect of the dialysis is not being sustained.'
Asked if the SLEDD would continue tomorrow as announced, he said that it all depended on the former West Bengal chief minister's blood pressure.
Dr Maity who had left the hospital earlier returned at around midnight, so did Dr Trisith Roy, a neuro medicine specialist.
Senior CPI (M) leaders Rabin Deb and Amitabha Nandi also rushed to the hospital. The evening bulletin of the hospital said: 'He is in a state of multi-organ failure. His condition is extremely critical.' Hospital Executive Director D N Agarwal earlier said that Basu was on full ventilatory support and there was also a further drop in his urine output.
Megastar Amitabh Bachchan, senior CPI (M) leaders Prakash Karat and Brinda Karat, former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee and former chief minister Siddharta Sankar Ray visited the hospital. Basu was admitted to AMRI Hospital with pneumonia on January one and put on a ventilator on January six.