Kolkata, Aug 13 (UNI) Former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee passed away on Monday morning at a Kolkata hospital. He was 89 and is survived by wife, son and daughter.
Somnath Chatterjee suffered a massive cardiac arrest on Sunday while undergoing treatment and had been on life support system since last week after after he was admitted to a private hospital in Kolkata on Tuesday due to kidney related complications.
He also suffered a hemorrhagic stroke in June and was hospitalised for more than a month.
“Somnath Chatterjee passed away today morning at around 8 AM due to kidney related ailments and old age complications, ” Suranjan Ghosh, General Manager (Operations) of Belle Vue Clinic, said.
Chatterjee was the Speaker in the first five-year term (2004-2009) of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government and elected to the Parliament’s Lower House ten times since 1971.
He was expelled from the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) in July 2008 for refusing to resign as Speaker after the Left Front withdrew support to the UPA government.
Born on July 25 in 1929 in Tezpur, Assam, Somnath Chatterjee had been associated with the Communist Party of India (Marxist) for most of his life, though he was independent in the last decade of his life.
A product of then Presidency College in Kolkata, Chatterje had chequered political life since he joined the CPI(M) in 1968 and elected to Lok Sabha in 1971.
After finishing education at Jesus College, Cambridge, and graduating with a B.A. in 1952 and a M.A. in 1957, both in law, and was called to the bar from the Middle Temple in London, he took up legal practice as an advocate at Calcutta High Court before joining active politics.
Chatterjee was a member of the CPI(M) from 1968 to 2008. In 1971, he was nominated to contest an interim election caused by the death of his father. He became a Member of the Lok Sabha in 1971 and was elected the first time as an independent candidate supported by the CPI(M).
Subsequently he was re-elected nine times, except once when he lost to Mamata Banerjee in the Jadavpur Lok Sabha constituency in 1984. From 1989 until 2004 he was the leader of his party in the Lok Sabha.
He was elected for the tenth time in 2004 as a member of the 14th Lok Sabha from Bolpur Lok Sabha constituency, considered to be a CPI(M) stronghold.