Shyamal Chakraborty
Shyamal Chakraborty

COVID-19 claimed the life of 76 year old senior CPIM leader Shyamal Chakraborty, who died around 1:50pm in a private hospital in Kolkata on Thursday. Chakraborty had tested positive for COVID-19 and was admitted in Peerless hospital on July 31 and put on ventilator thereafter on August 1.

Doctors say that the CPIM leader had several comorbidity issues like Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD) amongst others which affected his overall health condition. He was also said to be developing infection in his lungs. Chakraborty suffered two cardiac arrests on Thursday leading to his demise.

While Left leaders in Delhi like Brinda Karat and others called up his daughter Ushashri Chakraborty, Left leaders in the state like Surya Kanta Mishra, Biman Bose and Sujan Chakraborty shared their condolences with Chakraborty’s daughter. His daughter said she will follow the protocol by Left leaders for the last rites.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee too called up Chakraborty’s daughter to offer her condolences and offered to extend any help needed. Mamata also tweeted on the CPIM leader’s demise. “Saddened at the passing away of veteran leader, former Member of Parliament and former Bengal minister Shyamal Chakraborty. My condolences to his family, friends and supporters,” read the Chief Minister’s tweet.

Chakraborty was a senior leader, a President of the Left trade union CITU, a former transport minister in the cabinet during the erstwhile Left regime under Chief Minister Jyoti Basu.

Chakraborty, the three-time transport minister of West Bengal from 1982 to 1996 in the Jyoti Basu government, was a member of the CPI(M)'s central committee.

He was a Rajya Sabha MP from 2008 to 2014, and an MLA from 1981 to 1996.

Chakraborty was one of the longest serving presidents of the CITU's West Bengal unit, from 2003 to 2017.

Baptised in politics in the early '60s, his organisational and oratory skills were first spotted by Communist stalwart Promode Dasgupta.

Dasgupta groomed Chakraborty along with Biman Bose, Anil Biswas, Subhas Chakraborty and Buddhadeb Bhattacharya as the next generation leaders of the party.

(With inputs from PTI)

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