KOLKATA: Veteran Communist leader and former Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee died of multiple organ failure on Monday morning.
He was 89.
The condition of the 10-time parliamentarian deteriorated since Sunday morning after he suffered a cardiac arrest and was put on a ventilator.
He breathed his last at 8.15 am on Monday morning, sources said. The former Lok Sabha speaker was admitted to a private hospital in central Kolkata on August 8 with a kidney ailment.
He was undergoing dialysis at the hospital. He has been in and out of the hospital for the past two months and had suffered a hemorrhagic stroke last month.
The veteran CPI(M) leader is survived by wife and two daughters. Since joining CPM in 1968, Chatterjee had been Member of Parliament from Bardhaman constituency from 1971-77, Jadavpur constituency from 1977-84 and Bolpur constituency from 1985-2009.
He was the 13th speaker of the Lok Sabha from 2004-2009 during UPA-I regime. He was expelled from his party in 2008 over the Indo-US nuclear deal which Left Front, one of the biggest ally of the ruling Congress had opposed.
He was asked by his party to step down from the post of the speaker and vote against the government during trust vote, which he refused stating that as a speaker, he was above partisanship and party politics.
Top political leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress President Rahul Gandhi, BJP President Amit Shah and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee mourned his loss.