Somnath Chatterjee who was a former speaker of Lok Sabha and veteran communist pioneer passed away today in Kolkata, aged eighty-nine. Reports suggest that he was suffering from a kidney-related issue and was admitted to a private hospital. The condition of his health got serious on Sunday after he got a mild heart attack; also in July the veteran speaker suffered a hemorrhagic stroke. A ten-time Lok Sabha MP, Chatterjee, was present as a speaker from 2004 to 2009 amid the UPA-I administration. In 2008, he was barred from CPI (M) when he failed to quit as the Speaker post the party pulled back support from the UPA alliance. This was because Chatterjee negated to vote in opposition to the government at the time of the No-Confidence Motion in 2008. Hence, it meant voting for the BJP party. Chatterjee thought his forced exit was indeed one of the saddest days of his life and eventually in 2009, he retired from active politics. Addressing him as the stalwart of the Indian politics, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saddened by his demise, expressed that he made the Parliamentary democracy extravagant and was a solid voice for the prosperity of poor people and powerless.
Chatterjee, who was known to be one of the longest-serving parliamentarians, was a MP at Lok Sabha for over 10 times– from 1971 to 2009– with the exception in 1984 when Mamata Banerjee defeated him to become one. He was respected with the ‘Exceptional Parliamentarian Award’ in 1996. After the 2004 Lok Sabha General Election, Chatterjee was selected as the professional tem speaker and was in this manner chose as the Speaker of the fourteenth Lok Sabha. He was the second professional tem Speaker post Ganesh Vasudev Mavalankar to be chosen consistently to the House. Amid his residency as the Speaker, Chatterjee suspended the act of paying for toiletries and tea from the national exchequer. He likewise demanded paying the costs of any going with relatives on foreign trips.