Somnath Chatterjee: 'Anguished by his demise,' says Modi, Rahul calls him an 'institution'

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Aug 13, 2018, 11:12 AM(IST)

File photo of former Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee. Photograph:( ANI )

Prime Minister Modi paid tribute to the former Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee who breathed his last on Monday morning.

PM Modi tweeted saying, "Former MP and Speaker Shri Somnath Chatterjee was a stalwart of Indian politics. He made our Parliamentary democracy richer and 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".

President of India, Ram Nath Kovind also expressed his grief over the death of the 89-year-old former speaker.

He tweeted, "Sorry to hear of the passing of Shri 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 #PresidentKovind".

Congress President Rahul Gandhi expressed grief by tweeting, "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".

Several other leaders including Vice President of India, Venkaiah Naidu, MEA Sushma Swaraj, Omar Abdullah also paid tribute to Chatterjee. 

Saddened by the demise of former Lok Sabha Speaker, Shri Somnath Chatterjee. He was an outstanding Parliamentarian, who was elected to Lok Sabha 10 times. He was always affable and highlighted people’s problems. He firmly stood by the principles he believed in. #Parliament, Naidu tweeted.

I am sorry to know about the sad demise of Shri #SomnathChatterjee. In spite of our ideological differences, we cherished a very cordial relationship. My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family, Swaraj tweeted.

Chatterjee had been in a private hospital in Kolkata where was being treated for kidney problems. He had been undergoing dialysis. 

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Born in Tezpur, Assam, Chatterjee studied law in the UK and joined the CPI(M) in 1968 on returning to India.

Chatterjee was a 10-time Lok Sabha MP. He was elected to the house from 1971 all the way to 2009, with one break from 1984-89, when he was defeated by Mamata Banerjee from Jadavpur.

From 2004 to 2009, he was speaker of the house.

Chatterjee was also a central committee member of the CPI(M). He was expelled from the party in 2008 for refusing to resign as Speaker after his party withdrew support to the UPA-I government.

 

(With inputs from PTI)

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