The body of former Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee, who passed away earlier in the day, will be handed over to SSKM Hospital in Kolkata on Monday evening. The body will be used for research. In 2010, former West Bengal chief minister Jyoti Basu’s body was also donated for medical research to the hospital, as per an oath taken by him on April 4, 2003. His eyes had been harvested soon after his death.
Chatterjee, who died of multiple organ failure at a city hospital this morning, was given a gun salute by the state at the West Bengal Assembly. Besides the state assembly, his body was kept at Calcutta High Court and then moved to his residence at Raja Basant Roy Road where lakhs of people gathered to pay their last respects to the deceased leader.
The former Parliamentarian was admitted at Belle Vue Clinic last Tuesday following a kidney related ailment. On Sunday, he suffered a heart attack and was put on ventilator support. “He passed away at 8.15 am today due to multi-organ failure,” said Pradip Tandon, CEO of Belle Vue Clinic. The 89-year-old was earlier admitted to the nursing home on June 25 after suffering a haemorrhagic stroke.
Somnath Chatterjee underwent treatment for 40 days and was discharged just for three days after his health showed signs of improvement. However, he was re-admitted after his condition deteriorated last Tuesday.
Chatterjee was the Speaker in the first five-year term (2004-2009) of the United Progressive Alliance government and was elected to Parliament’s Lower House for ten times since 1971. He was expelled from the CPM in July 2008 for refusing to resign as Speaker after his party withdrew support from the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.