Veteran leader Somnath Chatterjee passes away in Kolkata

Former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee passed away in Kolkata this morning following a multiple organ failure. He was 89. Mr Chatterjee was suffering from a kidney-related ailment and was admitted to the hospital in a critical condition on Tuesday. He suffered a mild heart attack yesterday and was put on ventilator support.

A hospital official said, Mr Chatterjee’s condition deteriorated last night and he passed away around 8:15 AM following a multiple organ failure. A 10-time Lok Sabha MP, Mr Chatterjee was the Speaker of the Lower House from 2004 to 2009.

President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP President Amit Shah and Congress President Rahul Gandhi are among those who have condoled the demise of Mr Chatterjee. In a tweet, Mr Kovind said, the former Lok Sabha speaker was a veteran parliamentarian who had a forceful presence in the House.

Mr Naidu said, Mr Chatterjee was always affable, highlighted people’s problems and firmly stood by the principles he believed in.The Prime Minister termed Mr Chatterjee as a stalwart of Indian politics, saying that the former Lok Sabha Speaker made Parliamentary democracy richer. Mr Modi said, Mr Chatterjee was a strong voice for the well-being of the poor and vulnerable.

Mr Amit Shah said, the 10-time MP was an excellent Parliamentarian, whose long years as a member of Lok Sabha, enriched the Parliamentary traditions.Mr Rahul Gandhi said, Mr Chatterjee was an institution and was greatly respected and admired by all parliamentarians across party lines.

Describing him as a big brother, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said, Mr Chatterjee’s tenure as Speaker was a guidance for her. Ms Mahajan said, even though their ideology was different, but she used to see how Mr Chatterjee used to raise issues while following every rule.

Home Minister RajnathSingh and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj have also expressed sadnessover the demise of Somnath Chatterjee. In a tweet, Mr Singh said, Somnath, anerudite and seasoned parliamentarian, was known for value-based politics. MrSingh said Mr Chatterjee rose above partisan politics on several occasions. MrsSwaraj said, in spite of the ideological differences, she and Mr Chatterjeecherished a very cordial relationship.

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