Hundreds of people, including political workers and leaders from various parties, on Tuesday paid their final tribute to veteran Congress leader Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi, who died in a Delhi hospital on Monday. The body of the former Union minister, which had arrived in Kolkata on Monday night, was accompanied by Dasmunsi’s wife Deepa and son Priyadeep. The body was kept at the Peace Haven mortuary till Tuesday morning. Following this, it was first taken to state Congress headquarters Bidhan Bhavan, where many leaders and workers paid their respects.
Leaders who paid tribute at Bidhan Bhavan included Left Front Chairman Biman Bose, CPM MP Mohammad Salim, CPM state secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra, BJP leaders Samik Bhattacharya and Joy Prakash Majumdar, state Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, leader of Opposition Abdul Mannan and veteran Congress leader Somen Mitra.
The body was next taken to the Calcutta High Court, where former Kolkata mayor and lawyer Bikash Bhattacharya and others paid tribute. Dasmunsi’s body was then taken to his residence in south Kolkata’s Rani Bhavani Road. Trinamool Congress secretary general Partha Chatterjee paid his respects there. Recounting some fond memories with the veteran Congress leader, he said: “I used to come to his house so often during my days as a student leader. He was an inspiration to young leaders like us. He had given us valuable lessons, and always helped us whenever we approached him.”
Deepa Dasmunsi thanked all the leaders who had come to pay tribute to her late husband. “Today, many leaders who were once mentored by my late husband came here to see him for one last time. They might have changed their paths and political ideologies, but their presence showed that they still have feelings for him. It is indeed a great tribute to him,” she said.
Later, Dasmunsi’s body was airlifted to his ancestral house in Kaliaganj area of Uttar Dinajpur in an Army helicopter. His last rites were performed with full state honours, including a gun salute.
Expressing grief over Dasmunsi’s death, Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi said in a statement: “Shri Dasmunsi was one of the party’s popular leaders in West Bengal, and a Parliamentarian who enjoyed cross-party goodwill. He played an important role in the parliamentary democratic system, and held the post of minister in various ministries of the Union government. Late Shri Dasmunsi also served as the President of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) for almost 20 years. I convey my heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family, and his numerous followers and admirers.”