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Somnath Chatterjee, former Lok Sabha Speaker, dies at 89

Somnath Chatterjee, who was associated with the Communist Party of India (Marxis

Somnath Chatterjee, former Lok Sabha Speaker, dies at 89

Somnath Chatterjee passes away at a Kolkata hospital on Monday, Aug 13, 2018. Express Photo.

Somnath Chatterjee, former Lok Sabha Speaker, passed away Monday morning following a multi-organ failure at a city hospital. He was 89. Chatterjee was admitted at Belle Vue Clinic last Tuesday following a kidney related ailment. On Sunday he suffered a heart attack and was put on ventilator support. “He passed away at 8.15 am today due to multi-organ failure,” said Pradip Tandon, CEO of Belle Vue Clinic. The 89-year-old was earlier admitted to the nursing home on June 25 after suffering a haemorrhagic stroke reports the Indian Express.

Somnath Chatterjee underwent treatment for 40 days and was discharged just for three days after his health showed signs of improvement. However, he was re-admitted after his condition deteriorated last Tuesday.

Chatterjee was the Speaker in the first five-year term (2004-2009) of the United Progressive Alliance government and was elected to Parliament’s Lower House for ten times since 1971. He was expelled from the CPM in July 2008 for refusing to resign as Speaker after his party CPM withdrew support from the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.

He was born in 1929 in Tezpur, Assam. Chatterjee was educated at Mitra Institution School, Presidency College and then the University of Calcutta in Calcutta. He also attended Jesus College, Cambridge and graduating with a BA in 1952 and an MA in 1957, both in Law. Somnath Chatterjee was awarded an honorary fellowship by the college in 2007. Chatterjee was called to the bar from Middle Temple in London and took up legal practice as an advocate at the Calcutta High Court before joining active politics. He joined CPM in 1968 and was a member till his expulsion in 2008.

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.”