Somnath Chatterjee passes away: Some lesser known facts about former Lok Sabha Speaker

New Delhi: Former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee passed away on Monday morning in Kolkata. Politicians throughout the country mourned the passing of one of the most prominent parliamentarians. Several people took to Twitter to offer condolences.

The sad demise of the senior communist leader after a brief illness was also addressed by President Ram Nath Kovind, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and many others.

President of India Ram Nath Kovind said that Somnath Chaterjee’s death is a “loss for public life in Bengal and India”.

“He made our Parliamentary democracy richer and was a strong voice for the well-being of the poor and vulnerable. Anguished by his demise. My thoughts are with his family and supporters,” PM Narendra Modi wrote on Twitter.

Some lesser known facts about veteran Communist leader:

  • Somanth Chatterjee’s father Nirmal Chandra Chatterjee was a Hindu Mahasabha leader. He was an extremely influential lawyer of his time. Somnath differed with him ideologically but maintained a cordial relationship throughout. Somnath Chatterjee contested from Burdwan after his father’s death in 1971.
  • Veteran politician and former CM of Bengal, Jyoti Basu was the mentor of Somnath Chatterjee.
  • From 1971 to 2009, Chatterjee was elected to the Lok Sabha 10 times. He lost once in 1984 to then political greenhorn Mamata Banerjee. After that, Chatterjee shifted base to Bolpur and won every election.
  • Somnath Chatterjee was born in Tezpur, Assam. He studied in Kolkata and achieved the 10th position in Matriculation Exams. He pursued BA in Economics from Presidency college after which he went to UK for a BA law degree from the University of Cambridge. He went on to pass MA exam and also Barrister-al-law degree.
  • In his retired life, staying at Bolpur, Somnath Chatterjee continued to mix freely with his neighbors. He had no airs of a big man and took part in community activities.
  • Somnath Chatterjee was the President of West Bengal Table Tennis Association for a long time. He resigned on February 2018, citing poor health. Apart from that, the veteran leader was engaged in several youth connect activities.