AGARTALA: Seven-time Lok Sabha member and veteran Left leader Bajuban Reang died here on Friday night after a protracted illness, CPI-M sources said on Saturday. He was 79.
The prominent tribal leader of the northeast is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter.
Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) central committee member Badal Choudhury said Reang, also a three-time member of the Tripura assembly, died at a private hospital where he was admitted early on Friday.
After a funeral procession attended by a large number of Left leaders, members and the public, as per his wishes, Reang's body was donated to the government-run Govind Ballabh Pant Medical College and Hospital.
Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb, former Chief Minister and CPI-M politburo member Manik Sarkar and the party's state secretary Gautam Das were among the host of leaders who condoled the death.
Born in a farmer's family in Bokafa in southern Tripura, Bajuban Reang, a former Tripura agriculture minister, was also a champion javelin thrower and a sports enthusiast.
Soon after completing his graduation, he joined politics initially with the Congress and was elected in the union territory assembly polls in 1967 on a Congress ticket.
Subsequently, he joined the CPI-M where he rose up the party hierarchy. He was re-elected to the assembly two more times and also became the President of the Tripura Rajya Upajati Ganamukti Parishad (TRUGP), a frontal body of the CPI-M.
The TRUGP, one of the oldest tribal based organisations in India, was formed in 1948.
A CPI-M central committee member, Reang was first elected to the Lok Sabha in 1980. Though he lost the two parliamentary polls of 1989 and 1991, the tribal leader was re-elected to the Lok Sabha in 1985, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2004 and 2009.