| Kolkata |
Revealed: July 31, 2020 11:07:57 am
Congress stalwart from West Bengal Somen Mitra died at a hospital right here early Thursday. He was 78.
A 3-time state Congress president, Mitra had been unable to stop a break up within the occasion, which resulted within the creation of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the decline of the Congress as a political energy in Bengal. It was throughout Mitra’s second time period as occasion president within the late 1990s that the Congress needed to relinquish its place as the principle opposition to the TMC.
Born in 1941 in Jessore district of erstwhile East Bengal (now Bangladesh), Mitra started his political profession as a scholar chief within the 1960s.
Groomed by Congress leaders like A B A Ghani Khan Chowdhury, Mitra grew to become the youngest MLA within the state from Sealdah seat in 1972. He was 31. Besides in 1977, Mitra continued to win the Sealdah seat from 1982 to 2006.
Fondly often known as ‘Chhorda’ (youthful brother), Mitra was seen as one of many politicians of the 1960s and 70s who performed a job within the struggle in opposition to Naxalites in Kolkata.
He went on to turn into president of the Congress’s West Bengal unit for 3 phrases — from 1992 to 1996, 1996 to 1998 after which from September 2018, and was instrumental within the occasion securing 82 seats within the 1996 Meeting elections.
Nevertheless, because the Congress joined fingers with Left Entrance on the Centre to again the United Entrance authorities, it misplaced credibility as the principle opposition to the CPI(M) in West Bengal. It was then that Mamata Banerjee, who was then West Bengal Youth Congress president, started rising as an opposition power.
There was an intra-party tussle between Mitra and Banerjee within the Bengal Congress unit. Relations between them soured additional when Banerjee positioned herself in opposition to Mitra for the submit of state Congress president. Mitra gained the interior occasion election by 22 votes, throughout which there was a lot drama at Maharashtra Niwas in South Kolkata. It was learnt that he together with the then Congress nationwide president Sitaram Kesari cornered Banerjee within the occasion, after which she broke away to kind the TMC in 1998.
Because the TMC sided with the BJP and changed the Congress as the principle Opposition to the Left Entrance authorities in Bengal by successful seven seats within the 1998 parliamentary polls, Mitra stepped down as state Congress chief. He left the Congress in 2008 and launched Pragatisheel (Progressive) Indira Congress. He merged his outfit with the TMC earlier than 2009 Lok Sabha polls and gained Diamond Harbour seat on a TMC ticket.
Mitra left the TMC in 2014 following variations with Banerjee and rejoined the Congress. He grew to become Congress president once more in 2018.
Mitra was one of many chief strategists behind the Left Entrance-Congress alliance within the 2016 Meeting elections. He was eager on such an alliance for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, nevertheless it couldn’t materialise. Mitra, in addition to Congress chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, was against any alliance with the TMC.
Mitra was admitted in Belle Vue Clinic for 17 days as a consequence of coronary heart and kidney illnesses. Hospital sources mentioned he died following a cardiac arrest. Earlier, he had examined destructive for Covid-19.
His spouse Sikha advised reporters: “He knew nothing however politics. His coronary heart remained there. We advised him to keep away from politics as a consequence of his deteriorating well being. However he continued.”
Mitra is survived by his spouse and son.
His physique was taken to state Congress headquarters from the hospital, the place occasion staff, leaders reducing throughout occasion traces, and admirers paid last tribute. The mortal stays have been taken to the Meeting the place MLAs paid their respects after which to his ancestral residence on Amherst Avenue within the night. The cremation occurred at Nimtala burning ghat.
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