New Delhi: Veteran Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader and former West Bengal Commerce and Industries Minister Nirupam Sen  died at a city hospital on Monday morning after a prolonged illness. He was 72.

Hospital sources said that, the former politburo member passed away at 5:10 AM following a cardiac arrest. Sen, who handled the industrial reconstruction, planning and power portfolios in the erstwhile Left Front regime under Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, was suffering from neurological and kidney related ailments. He was on life support system after his health condition deteriorated in early December and had been critical since then.

“Sen was fighting kidney ailments. He was impaired by a cerebral attack in 2013,” an official at the hospital said. He was survived by his wife, a son and a daughter.

Party sources said Sen’s body would be taken to his residence and then to a private mortuary in the city. “On Wednesday, Sen’s body will be taken to the CITU office here and then to the party’s state head quarters where people will be allowed to pay their last respect,” sources told news agency PTI.  His mortal remains would be consigned to flames in Burdwan, his home town, on Wednesday.

Faced with intense criticism both within and outside the party, Sen, then a CPI(M) politburo member, had withdrawn himself from active politics. In the next few years due to ill health, he stepped down from the politburo, the central committee and earlier this year during the CPI(M) party congress, he stepped down from the state committee. He was a three-time MLA from Bardhaman Dakshin constituency.