West Bengal Congress chief Somen Mitra passes away at 78

West Bengal Congress chief Somen Mitra passes away at 78

West Bengal Congress unit chief Somen Mitra passed away at a hospital in Kolkata in the early hours of July 30. He was 78.

News agency PTI reported citing sources at the hospital that Mitra died due to heart and age-related ailments. He passed away at around 1.30 am following a cardiac arrest and had tested negative for COVID-19.

Mitra survived by his wife and son.

"He was admitted to the hospital a few days back after his creatinine level was found to be high during a routine check-up. He was a patient of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and also had other age-related ailments," PTI quoted a senior official of the hospital as saying.

He had been taken to the hospital a few days back for regular health check-up.

Mitra had undergone a bypass surgery some years back when he was a Lok Sabha Member of Parliament (MP).

Gaurav Gogoi, Congress MP and All India Congress Committee (AICC) in-charge of party affairs in the state, condoled the demise of the West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee (WBPCC) chief.

Mitra was one of the most firebrand politicians of the 1960s and 1970s. He was baptized into the Congress, through student politics in the late sixties. A three-time president of the Congress' West Bengal unit from 1992-1996, 1996-1998 and then again from September 2018, Mitra was a seven-term MLA from the Sealdah assembly constituency.

He left the Congress in 2008 to form his political outfit Pragatisheel (Progressive) Indira Congress. He later merged his outfit with the Trinamool Congress (TMC) ahead of the 2009 Lok Sabha polls and won the election on a TMC ticket from the Diamond Harbour parliamentary seat that year. Mitra quit the TMC in 2014 to rejoin the Congress.

He was one of the chief architects behind the Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led Left Front and Congress alliance in West Bengal during the 2016 Legislative Assembly polls.