Kolkata, Nov 20 (IANS) Cutting across party lines, politicians in West Bengal on Monday paid glowing tributes to veteran Congress leader Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi who passed away earlier in the day in New Delhi.
Condolences poured in from Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and senior Ministers like Subrata Mukherjee, Partha Chatterjee, and Sovandeb Chattopadhyay.
Former Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Dasmunsi, who was in coma since 2008, died on Monday at Apollo Hospital in New Delhi, doctors said. He was 72.
“I feel as if I have been orphaned. It is painful to think that he is no more. He was my political friend, philosopher, and guide. I used to reach out to him both for political reasons as also personal. Everyone addressed us as Priya-Subrata,” Mukherjee said.
Recalling Dasmunshi’s role in students’ politics, West Bengal Education and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Partha Chatterjee said: “We are extremely saddened by the demise of Dasmunshi… he used to teach us dos and dont’s. In order to honour him, we would appeal to the Speaker to adjourn the Assembly session on Tuesday after 12 noon, so that members of the Assembly can attend his last rites.”
Rajya Sabha MP and former Bengal Congress President Pradip Bhattacharya recalled Dasmunsi’s qualities.
“He never used to be stressed or overwhelmed when the party was in a crisis. He was such a powerful speaker that everyone would believe everything he said. We have had debates, but never fights. The Bengal Congress’ decline started the day he fell ill,” Bhattacharya said, adding that the Congress in Bengal was incomplete without him.
State Congress President Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said Dasmunsi was a national asset.
“His demise is the country’s loss. We have decided that our party flags will be flown at half mast for three days,” Chowdhury said.
“His debates were based on logic and data and that era has ended with his demise,” said Communist Party of India-Marxist MP and politburo member Mohammed Salim.
Expressing grief over Dasmunsi’s death, CPI-M State Secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra also said he had “immense contribution” to Parliamentary democracy.
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