Former Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee’s family rejected the proposal of CPI (M) to drape his body in party flag and take his body to party headquarters for people to pay their last respects. But his family opted to drape his body in flag of Mohun Bagan, India’s oldest football club of which he was a member for about half a century, was placed on his body in his south Kolkata residence.
According to his wish, his body was donated for research to SSKM Hospital. Current Lok Sabha speaker, who was in Kolkata to pay her respects, turned emotional. “He was like an elder brother and his guidance helped me a lot to grow as a Parliamentarian. When I became the Speaker, the first call that I received was from him,” Sumitra Mahajan said with tears in her eyes.
His daughter Anushila Basu recalled seeing her father in tears after he was expelled from the party with which he was associated for four decades. “I told him that he is a free bird now. He was then sitting in his antechamber with tears in his eyes. But he was mentally associated with the party till his last day,” Basu told the media. Somnath Chatterjee passed away at 89 on Monday, August 13.