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Somnath Chatterjee's Family Refuses CPI(M)'s Offer to Take Mortal Remains of Late Leader to Party Office

The CPI(M), on its part, said that the party did want to take the late leader's body to the party headquarters, but blamed "technical failure" for having failed in their attempt.

Sujit Nath | News18

Updated:August 13, 2018, 5:34 PM IST
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Somnath Chatterjee's Family Refuses CPI(M)'s Offer to Take Mortal Remains of Late Leader to Party Office
File photo of former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee. (Photo: PTI)
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Kolkata: Former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee’s family on Monday refused to drape the late leader's body in the CPI(M) flag offered by the very party that expelled him. The family also refused to take the mortal remains of the veteran leader to the party headquarters at Alimuddin street.

Somnath Chatterjee’s daughter Anushila said, "CPI (M) offered red flag today which we refused to accept. For him party was the priority despite the fact that he was expelled. The saddest moment of his life was when he was expelled despite dedicating his whole life to the party.”

Chatterjee was expelled by the CPI(M) in 2008 for "seriously compromising the position of the party" when he refused to step down as the Speaker, a position which he believed was independent and unbiased.

Somnath Chatterjee’s grandson Sashwata Chatterjee too confirmed that his body will not be taken to the state CPI (M) office. “No we are not taking his body to the party office. It will be taken to the Calcutta High Court, state Assembly, to our house and finally at SSKM College and Hospital as he donated his body,” said Sashwata.

The CPI(M), on its part, said that the party did want to take the late leader's body to the party headquarters, but blamed "technical failure" for having failed in their attempt.

“As far as I know, party tried but failed. The failure happened due to some technical reasons,” said former CPI(M) minister Kanti Ganguly.

Earlier, in the day, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said that "the mortal remains will be kept at party office where last respects will be paid to him".

On being asked if it was unusual that such a senior party leader's mortal remains will not be taken to the party office, CPI leader Sujan Chakraborty said, “There was some hesitation from his family. So finally it was planned as per the wishes of his family members. Somnath da is with us, and he will always remain with us.”

Somnath Chatterjee, the first communist in the country to don the role of a Speaker, was defeated only once by now West bengal CM Mamata Banerjee in 1984.

“He was a great leader and it is a personal loss to me. As per plan, his body will be taken to the Calcutta High Court and from there to the state Assembly where we will give him the highest respect with gun salute. Then his body will be taken to his house (Raja Basanta Roy Road in South Kolkata) and then to SSKM College and Hospital as he donated his body," said Mamata.

Somnath Chatterjee passed away at a private hospital on Monday morning following multiple organ failure. He was 89 years old.
| Edited by: Ashutosh Tripathi
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