Veteran CPI(M) leader and former West Bengal minister Manabendra Mukherjee passed away at a city hospital on Tuesday afternoon. He was 67.
The Left leader was popular in the political circles of West Bengal as Manab Mukherjee.
According to CPI(M) state secretary Md Salim, Mukherjee was admitted to the hospital following ill-health and brain hemorrhage. He had two successive cardiac arrests on Tuesday afternoon following which he expired.
His body will be preserved at the Peace Heaven mortuary on Tuesday night. On Wednesday, it will be taken to the party’s headquarters in Kolkata where party leaders, supporters and workers will pay their homage to the departed leader. Thereafter his body will be donated to the Calcutta Medical College & Hospital as per his last wish.
After completing his graduation from St Xavier’s College, he started his post-graduation in business management from the University of Calcutta. But his earnestness to pursue an active political life with CPI(M) prompted him to discontinue his studies and join the party as a wholetimer.
He was a five-time MLA from Beleghata Assembly constituency in Kolkata from 1987 and 2006. He had served as a minister in the Left Front regime holding important portfolios such as information technology, tourism, youth affairs and environment.
As environment minister, he led a relentless struggle in combating the menace of sound-producing firecrackers for which he even had differences with a section of his own party functionaries.
As tourism minister, he was largely responsible for the development, upgradation and modernisation of guest houses under the state tourism department.
Mukherjee, an excellent orator with his suave style, was popular in the party for his amicable behaviour. As minister holding important portfolios, his interactions with the state bureaucrats were extremely smooth. His relationship with the media was also quite cordial as in the face of even the most uncomfortable questions, he was never seen losing his cool.
Recalling his memories of Mukherjee, Left Front Chairman in West Bengal, Biman Bose, said that Mukherjee was a dedicated party soul who had always diligently performed whatever duties that the party conferred upon him.