Kolkata: The condition of former chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, who was hospitalised two days ago after he complained of breathing problems, has"improved", but the veteran leader still needs oxygen support, a senior hospital official said on Sunday.

The 75-year-old CPI(M) leader, who has been suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) for quite some time, is conscious, alert and talking, the official said.

"An eight-member medical team conducted a checkup on Mr Bhattacharjee this morning. It was found that his vital parameters are stable. He is tolerating oral food and had ice cream, tea and papaya today morning," she said.

The former Bengal CM was rushed to hospital on Friday after he suffered an acute exacerbation of COPD and his blood pressure fell drastically. "Bhattacharjee has been tolerating BiPAP (non-invasive ventilation) so far. He took BiPAP for nearly six hours last night." A chest X-Ray on Bhattacharjee shows signs of improvement.

His haemoglobin level has risen and carbon-dioxide levels have come down, but he will continue to need oxygen," she added.

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee visited Bhattacharjee on Friday and spoke to the doctors about his condition. Among others who visited the hospital were Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, senior CPI(M) leaders Surjya Kanta Mishraand Rabin Deb, and Congress leader Pradip Bhattacharya.

On Saturday, BJP leaders Mukul Roy and Locket Chatterjee and Congress state unit chief Somen Mitra were seen visiting the hospital.

The CPI(M) leader, who served as the CM between 2000 and 2011, has also been suffering from eye ailments. He was seen last in public on February 3, when he went to the Brigade Parade ground to attend a rally called by the Left Front