Jyoti Basu died today after prolonged illness in his hometown, Calcutta (now Kolkata). His death is being reported by not just by Indian newspapers but also by the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and the BBC.
An Associated Press report published in the Journal says:
Veteran communist leader Jyoti Basu, who in 1996 came close to becoming India's prime minister, died Sunday after a prolonged illness, a party spokesman said. He was 96.
Mr. Basu became chief minister of West Bengal state in 1977 and served for 23 years, making him the longest-serving chief minister in India's political history. In 1996, a group of parties asked Mr. Basu to lead a coalition government in New Delhi. However, the communist party declined, saying it didn't want to be part of a government in which it didn't have a majority. Mr. Basu later described that decision as a "historic blunder."
The New York Times looks back on his political career :
Jyoti Basu, a powerful leftist leader who dominated politics in the state of West Bengal for more than two decades and nearly became India’s first Communist prime minister, died in Calcutta on Sunday. He was 95.