Veteran journalist and former Rajya Sabha MP Chandan Mitra passed away on Wednesday, prompting an outpouring of condolence messages and mourning online. Both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ram Nath Kovind have taken to Twitter expressing their sorrow, as have numerous other political leaders including Union and Chief Ministers.
Mitra had been nominated as a member of the Rajya Sabha from August 2003 to 2009. In July 2018, he had resigned from the Bharatiya Janata Party, thereafter joining the All India Trinamool Congress. The 65-year-old was also the editor of Pioneer newspaper.
News of the former BJP MP's death was announced by his son Kushan Mitra in a tweet on Thursday morning. As per the post, he had been ailing for quite some time and passed away late on Wednesday night.
"Shri Chandan Mitra Ji will be remembered for his intellect and insights. He distinguished himself in the world of media as well as politics. Anguished by his demise. Condolences to his family and admirers. Om Shanti," Prime Minister Modi tweeted.
"Chandan Mitra was an outstanding journalist and his stint as a parliamentarian added to his reputation. His understanding of Hindi heartland and its history was profound. His demise leaves a void in Indian journalism," added President Kovind.
"Saddened by the demise of Shri Chandan Mitra. He will be remembered for his contribution to the world of journalism and politics. Heartfelt condolences to his family and loved ones," said West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
Mitra was considered close to BJP leader L K Advani. Earlier in the day, BJP MP Swapan Dasgupta had shared a picture of himself with the former MP from a school trip in 1972. He expressed hope that his friend was happy, wherever he was. "I lost my closest friend-editor of Pioneer and former MP Chandan Mitra-this morning. We were together as students of La Martiniere and went on to St Stephen's and Oxford. We joined journalism at the same time and shared the excitement of Ayodhya and the saffron wave," he wrote.
Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh also recalled the senior journalist and expressed concerns for his family during this hour of sadness. "Dr. Chandan Mitra was known for his deep knowledge, sharp writings, and contributions towards journalism and politics. Deeply anguished by his passing away. My thoughts are with his family and admirers in this hour of sadness. Om Shanti," Singh tweeted.
Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry as well as Consumer Affairs and Food, also recalled the works of late Chandan Mitra. While praying for the strength of his family, he tweeted, "Deeply saddened at the passing away of former Rajya Sabha MP and senior journalist Shri Chandan Mitra Ji. His contributions to the field of media and politics will be long remembered. May God give his family the strength to overcome this loss. Om Shanti!"
(With inputs from agencies)
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