New Delhi, August 13: Former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee passed away due to multi-organ failure on Monday. He was 89. Chatterjee, who breathed his last at 8:15 AM today was undergoing dialysis in a Kolkata hospital. Eighty-nine-year-old Chatterjee, who was suffering from a kidney-related ailment, was admitted to the hospital on Tuesday. 12-member team of doctors was constantly keeping an eye on the veteran politician.
Chatterjee, a former CPI(M) leader and 10-time Lok Sabha MP, was speaker of the Lok Sabha in the first Congress-led UPA government from 2004-2009. The CPI(M) expelled him in 2008 for not resigning as the speaker after the party withdrew its support from the UPA-1 government over Indo-US nuclear deal.
Expressing grief over Chatterjee’s demise, Congrerss president Rahul Gandhi said,”I mourn the passing away of Shri Somnath Chatterjee, 10 term MP and former Speaker of the Lok Sabha. He was an institution. Greatly respected and admired by all parliamentarians, across party lines. My condolences to his family at this time of grief.”
Senior Congress leader, Ashok Gehlot said,”Deeply saddened by the passing away of former Lok Sabha Speaker Shri Somnath Chatterjee. My heartfelt condolences to his family members, may god give them strength to bear this loss… May his soul rest in peace.”
“I am sorry to know about the sad demise of Shri Somnath Chatterjee. In spite of our ideological differences, we cherished a very cordial relationship. My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family,” External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted.
Taking to Twitter, NC leader and former Jammu and Kashmir CM Omar Abdullah said,”Rest in peace now Somnath da. It was an honour to have known you & to have learnt from you. The Lok Sabha was much the poorer by your absence in recent years. India has lost a parliamentary giant today.”
Earlier in June, Chatterjee had suffered a hemorrhagic stroke after which his health declined. He had also suffered a mild cerebral stroke back in 2014.