Even though publicly the Communists loathed the BJP, Communist patriarch Jyoti Basu held a clandestine meeting with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L K Advani when the National Front was in power.
The former West Bengal chief minister sought a meeting with him and Vajpayee because he felt that the multi-party National Front government led by V P Singh was not functioning well.
But Basu laid a pre-condition: the meeting had to be under cover. The message was send thru Viren Shah's a successful Mumbai-based industrialist, a friend of both Advani and Basu, played the emissary. The Message was
“No one should know about our meeting. Especially people in my party would not like it. This government is not functioning properly. I feel the three of us - Atalji, you and I - should meet to discuss the situation. Why don't we meet at Viren Shah's residence in Delhi?”
In their response to Shah, the BJP leaders said:
“We thank Jyoti babu for his suggestion. If he is interested in meeting us, we are prepared to go to Kolkata to meet him there. Otherwise, if he wants the meeting to take place in Delhi, he is most welcome to come to either Atalji's house or my house for dinner.”
The meeting finally took place at Shah's residence.