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Former Speaker of Indian Lok Sabha Somnath Chatterjee dies at 89

A 10-time Lok Sabha MP, Chatterjee was a central committee member of the CPI(M), which he had joined in 1968

Kolkata: Former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee passed away at a private hospital here this morning following multiple organ failure, a senior hospital official said.   He was 89 and survived by wife and two daughters.

Chatterjee passed away at around 8.15 am after his condition deteriorated following yesterday’s “mild heart attack”, the official said.

Chatterjee was suffering from a kidney-related ailment and was admitted to the hospital in a critical condition on Tuesday last.

“He suffered a multiple organ failure and had stopped responding to treatment since late last night. He passed away this morning at around 8.15 am,” the official told PTI.

Chatterjee had suffered a mild heart attack yesterday morning, but was revived. He was undergoing treatment in the ICCU.

Last month, the former speaker had suffered a hemorrhagic stroke.

He was under treatment for the past 40 days and was discharged from the hospital just for three days after his health showed signs of improvement.

However, his condition deteriorated last Tuesday and he had to be hospitalised again, the official said.

A 10-time Lok Sabha MP, Chatterjee was a central committee member of the CPI(M), which he had joined in 1968.

He was the Speaker of the Lok Sabha from 2004 to 2009.

The veteran leader was, however, expelled from the CPI(M) in 2008 for refusing to resign as the Speaker after his party withdrew support to the UPA-I government.

Kovind, Modi mourn Chatterjee’s demise

 President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday mourned the death of former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee.

“Sorry to hear of the passing of Somnath Chatterjee, former Speaker of the Lok Sabha and a veteran parliamentarian who had a forceful presence in the House.

“A loss for public life in Bengal and India. My condolences to his family and innumerable well-wishers,” the President said in a tweet.

The Prime Minister described Chatterjee as a stalwart of Indian politics who made the parliamentary democracy richer.

Modi tweeted that Chatterjee “was a strong voice for the well-being of the poor and vulnerable. Anguished by his demise. My thoughts are with his family and supporters”.

Rahul Gandhi hails him as an ‘institution’

Congress President Rahul Gandhi hailed him as “an institution”, respected by all parliamentarians.

“I mourn the passing away of Somnath Chatterjee,” Gandhi said after news came of the demise of the former 10-time parliamentarian.

“He was an institution. Greatly respected and admired by all parliamentarians, across party lines. My condolences to his family at this time of grief,” Gandhi tweeted.

Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convenor Arvind Kejriwal remembered him as “one of the greatest Lok Sabha Speakers India ever had”.

“Extremely sad news about Somnath Chatterjeeji. One of the greatest parliamentarians of contemporary times he will always be missed by this country,” Kejriwal tweeted.

 

 

 

 

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