Former Lok Sabha Speaker and veteran communist leader, Somnath Chatterjee, has died after suffering from a mild heart attack on Sunday.
Chatterjee was placed on ventilation in a private hospital in Kolkata due to kidney related complications.
“In such cases it happens at times that the heart stops giving support. Chatterjee suffered a mild heart attack this morning, but was revived. He is in the ICU and is responding to treatment,” news agency Press Trust of India had quoted a doctor as saying.
Reacting to his death, Congress President Rahul Gandhi tweeted, “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.”
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj wrote, “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.”
In 2008, the 10-term Lok Sabha MP was expelled from the CPI(M) for not resigning as the Speaker after the communist parties decided to withdraw support from the UPA-1 government over the Indo-US nuclear deal.
A 10-time Lok Sabha MP, Chatterjee was a central committee member of the CPI(M), which he had joined in 1968. He was the Speaker of the Lok Sabha from 2004 to 2009.
Chatterjee had suffered hemorrhagic stroke on on 25 June this year. “It was a hemorrhagic stroke with a medium size clot, which is ordinary. But it is dangerous for a patient aged 89 years,” ANI had quoted hospital sources then.