File photo of former Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee.

Former LS Speaker Somnath Chatterjee Departs; PM Condoles Death

Former Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee passed away on Monday, 13 August at a Kolkata hospital. He was 89 years old.

He passed away at 8:15 am, reported IANS.

“He made our Parliamentary democracy richer and was a strong voice for the well-being of the poor and vulnerable,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a tweet offering condolences to Chatterjee’s family.

President Ram Nath Kovind too expressed grief over Somnath Chatterjee’s death.

Congress President Rahul Gandhi took to Twitter to condole Chatterjee’s death. In a tweet, Gandhi said, “He (Somnath Chatterjee) was an institution. Greatly respected and admired by all parliamentarians, across party lines.”

Calling Chatterjee an outstanding parliamentarian, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu condoled Chatterjee’s death.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in his tweet expressed grief over the demise of the former Lok Sabha speaker.

Chatterjee’s Condition Deteriorated on Sunday

Chatterjee was put on life support after he suffered a heart attack, but was "stable", an official of the private hospital told PTI on Sunday, 12 August.

"He is undergoing dialysis. In such cases it happens at times that the heart stops giving support,” the official added.

Chatterjee had suffered a mild heart attack on Sunday morning, but was revived. He was in the ICCU and was reported as “stable and responding to treatment but still on ventilation.”

In June, the former Lok-Sabha speaker was admitted to the critical care wing of the hospital, following a hemorrhagic stroke, which recovered from. His health declined again on 10 August and he had to be readmitted in the hospital.

Chatterjee was the Speaker of the Lower House from 2004-09 when Manmohan Singh-led UPA- 1 (United Progressive Alliance) was in power.

In 2008, he was expelled from the CPI(M) for not resigning as the Speaker after Left parties withdrew support from the UPA-1 government over the Indo-US nuclear deal.

(With inputs from ANI and PTI)