Former Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee died today morning in Kolkata days after he was admitted to hospital with a kidney ailment. He was 89 years old. Mr Chatterjee, who was admitted to Belle Vue hospital on August 8, was put on ventilator support after he suffered a heart attack. His condition turned critical on Sunday morning.
The 10-time parliamentarian had been in and out of hospital for the last two months. Doctors said he was undergoing dialysis.
Last month, the former Speaker had suffered a hemorrhagic stroke. After his condition improved, he was discharged from the hospital. But three days later, on Tuesday, he had to be hospitalised again.
“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 quoted a doctor as saying.
Mr Chatterjee was the key leader of the CPM, which he had joined in 1968. A 10-time member of the Lok Sabha, he became the Speaker from in 2004 when the UPA government led by Manmohan Singh came to power.
The veteran leader was, however, expelled from the CPM in 2008 after the Left Front, one of the biggest allies of the UPA, withdrew support from the government over the India-US nuclear deal.
The party wanted Mr Chatterjee to step down as the Speaker and vote against the government during the trust vote.
But Mr Chatterjee had refused to resign, maintaining that as Speaker, he was above partisanship and party politics.