The nation was gripped with a patriotic nationalist fervor with Independence Day just two days away when the news of the demise of Somnath Chatterjee saddened the atmosphere. The country was still recovering from the death of M Karunanidhi when this sad news engulfed the entire nation. Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a tweet referred Somnath Chatterjee as the strong voice of the downtrodden people who worked hard for the upliftment of their living conditions.
The news of his demise ran through the entire country today morning after he died of a multi-organ failure at a hospital in Kolkata. He was 89 years old. He was admitted to the Belle Vue hospital in Kolkata on August 8 after he suffered a kidney disorder. On Sunday morning, he suffered a cardiac arrest after which he was shifted on the life support system. With no improvement in his conditions, he finally succumbed to his death today morning at 8 am.
His Political Journey
Somnath Chatterjee, a professional advocate, began his career in politics in 1968 and retired from it in the year 2009.
A 10-time Lok Sabha MP
He became one of the longest-serving Lok Sabha members who was elected to the House ten times since 1971. He served as a Member of Parliament from 1971 to 2009, excluding the 1984 elections in which he was defeated by Mamata Banerjee.
A Former Lok Sabha Speaker
Chatterjee was initially appointed as the temporary speaker of the 14th Lok Sabha subsequent to the 2004 Lok Sabha General Election. But later on, he finally became the Speaker of the United Progressive Alliance government serving for a first five-year term from 2004 to 2009.
His role in CPI(M)
Somnath Chatterjee served as a central committee member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) since 1968. In 2008, he was expelled from the party after he refused from resigning from the post of Speaker of the United Progressive Alliance government. The CPI(M) had a clash with the UPI government over the Indo-US nuclear deal after which they parted ways. Chatterjee was asked to vote against the government during the No-Confidence Motion in 2008, but he refused as he was unwilling to support the opposition party BJP. He referred to his expulsion from the CPI(M) as the “one of the saddest days”.