Kolkata, Mar 8 (PTI) Senior CPI(M) leader and former West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee today stepped down from the party’s state committee, citing ill health.

Bhattacharjee, who suffers from Compulsive Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), had on earlier occasions too expressed his desire to step down from the state committee but the party’s senior leaders resisted the move, CPI(M) state secretary Surya Kanta Mishra said here today.

“He wanted to step down and was firm on his decision so we decided to make him special invitee in the state committee,” he explained.

Seven veteran leaders also resigned from the party’s state unit today, Mishra said, adding that the average age limit of state committee members has been brought down to 54.5 years.

The decision was taken on the final day of the state committee’s four-day-long conference here.

Bhattacharjee, who became a member of the state committee in late seventies, had earlier stepped down from the central committee and politburo.

CITU state president Shyamal Chakraborty were among the senior leaders who followed in Bhattacharjee’s footsteps.

The party also inducted 17 new faces into the state committee, the youngest of them being 33 years old.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.