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Friday, 28 July, 2000, 14:44 GMT 15:44 UK
Veteran Indian Marxist taken ill
Jyoti Basu
Jyoti Basu has been taken to hospital
The veteran Communist leader and chief minister of the eastern Indian state of West Bengal, Jyoti Basu, has been taken ill during a party meeting in Delhi.

A statement issued by his Communist Party of India Marxist (CPIM) says he has been admitted to the Ram Manohar Lohia hospital where his condition has stabilised.

However, he is to be kept under observation.

It is not the first time in recent years that the 86-year-old leader has been in the news because of his poor health.

He is reported to have expressed his desire to retire from active politics due to health concerns several times in the last two years.

But his party officials have refused to let go of the man who has kept the party's flag flying high, in one of the only three Indian states where the left has a strong presence.

Last November, his party finally appointed a deputy chief minister in West Bengal to take over the day-to-day running of the state.

Mr Basu is the longest-serving chief minister of any Indian state and is currently serving his sixth consecutive term in office.

He has been West Bengal's chief minister since 1977.

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26 Nov 99 | South Asia
Ailing Basu gets deputy
25 Apr 99 | South Asia
India faces fresh elections
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