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Former Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee passes away

Prime News, National, Kolkata, August 13:- Former speaker of the Lok Sabha Somnath Chatterjee passed away at a Kolkata hospital on Monday morning. He was 89.

Chatterjee had been put on ventilator support after he suffered a heart attack, but was said to be “stable.”

He was admitted to Belle Vue Clinic where he was admitted on June 28. He was discharged on August 5, but was again admitted on August 9, when a dialysis was performed on him.

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

A long-time Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader, Chatterjee was the speaker of 14th Lok Sabha (2004-2009) when the Manmohan Singh-led UPA-I was in power. However, he was expelled from the party in 2008 by general secretary Prakash Karat when he refused to resign as speaker after CPI(M) and other left parties withdrew support to the government over the Indo-US nuclear deal.

 

Chatterjee described his expulsion as the saddest affair in his life. However, the CPI(M) leadership came under criticism from within the party, especially from its Bengal wing, for the decision to expel him. Even after his expulsion, several CPI(M) leaders including the current party general secretary, Sitaram Yechury, had been in constant touch with him.

Chatterjee, who has represented Burdwan, Jadavpur and Bolpur Parliamentary Constituencies from 1971 to 2009, was only defeated in 1984, when he faced current West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee, who was then in the Congress.

His son Pratap Chatterjee is a high-profile lawyer in the Calcutta High Court. He is also survived by two daughters, Anuradha and Anushila, the latter being a renowned dance professional. (Inputs: Agencies, NGB)

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