Former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee no more

Kolkata: Former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee passed away at a private hospital in Kolkata. He was 89.

He was suffering from kidney ailment and had been in critical condition for past few days. Since August 8, Chatterjee had been put on ventilator.

He was Speaker of the Lok Sabha from 2004 to 2009.

A 10-time Lok Sabha MP, Chatterjee was a central committee member of the CPI(M), which he had joined in 1968. He was, however, expelled from the CPI(M) in 2008 for refusing to resign as the Speaker of the Lok Sabha after his party withdrew support to the UPA-I government.

Condolences poured in following the death of Chatterjee. President of India Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed grief over the demise of the veteran politician in twitter messages.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and AICC President Rahul Gandhi also condoled Chatterjee’s death.

In a twitter message, Chief Minister and BJD chief Naveen Patnaik expressed sadness on the demise of the former Lok Sabha Speaker.

Former Kendrapara MP Baijayant Panda also mourned the death of Chatterjee.