New Delhi, Aug 13 (IANS) Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday condoled the death of former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee and said the “country has lost a great leader who always stood for the cause of the poor and the downtrodden classes of society”.
In a condolence letter to the veteran parliamentarian’s wife Renu Chatterjee, Singh said: “I have learnt with profound sorrow about the sad demise of your beloved husband Shri Somnath Chatterjee.”
“In his death our country has lost a great leader who always stood for the cause of the poor and the downtrodden classes of society,” he said.
Singh said Chatterjee was a very good orator, an exceptional public servant, and an outstanding member of Parliament, especially in the role of Speaker of the Lok Sabha, which made him eligible for the “Outstanding Parliamentarian Award”.
“His ability and personality was such that people from all walks of life and from all political parties loved and respected Shri Chatterjee,” said Singh.
“His services to the nation will be remembered for many years to come. I write to convey to you and other members of your family my heartfelt condolences on this bereavement,” he added.
Chatterjee, the first Communist Speaker of the Lok Sabha who had defied his party’s call to quit the post, died here on Monday following cardiac arrest and prolonged old age-related illness.