Kolkata: Veteran Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Jyoti Basu, hospitalised after a pneumonia attack, was on respiratory support and stable, according to a medical bulletin Saturday. He is said to be responding well to treatment.
The 96-year-old former West Bengal chief minister is in the intensive cardiac care unit (ICCU) of the private AMRI hospital.
"He was shifted to the ICCU early Saturday for constant observation and better management," said AMRI hospital executive director D.N. Agarwal.
Basu was on a liquid diet and fully conscious. "He is responding well to treatment. He is talking. You can say he is stable," Agarwal said, reading out the medical bulletin.
A host of political leaders visited the hospital for an update on the Marxist patriarch`s condition. While Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee visited Basu in the morning, Railways Minister Mamata Banerjee called on the ailing leader in the evening. "He is ok. I saw him talking to the nurses," Banerjee said after coming out of the hospital.
Basu`s personal assistant Joy Krishna Ghosh said: "He is stable."
The hospital has drafted veteran medicine specialist Mani Chhettri as adviser to the medical board constituted for Basu`s treatment.
In the morning, the full six-member board examined Basu and decided to keep him in the ICCU for two more days.
Basu was admitted to the hospital in Salt Lake close to his residence Indira Bhawan Friday evening following chest congestion and infection. A CT scan revealed that he was suffering from pneumonia.
He is being administered intravenous anti-biotics.
Basu has been ailing due to various old-age complications.
He was hospitalised in July last year following gastro-intestinal complications and transient loss of consciousness. Earlier, he injured his left leg after a fall at home.
That prevented him from voting in the April-May Lok Sabha poll - the first time in 63 years that he did not vote.
Basu also has a clot in the brain from a fall in his bathroom in 2008. The clot had reduced following medication.
In 2007, the veteran Marxist cracked a rib after a fall in the bathroom.
Born 1914 in Kolkata, Basu became chief minister in June 1977. He stepped down voluntarily on health grounds in November 2000.
One of the founding leaders of the CPI-M, Basu almost became India`s prime minister in 1996 at the head of a coalition government but the party vetoed the proposal.