West Bengal Congress president Somen Mitra passed away at a city hospital in the early hours of Thursday. He was 78.
Sources at the private hospital where Mitra was admitted to said he died due to heart and age-related ailments.
"He was admitted to the hospital a few days back after his creatinine level was found to be high during a routine check-up. He was a patient of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and also had other age-related ailments," a senior official of the hospital said.
Mitra passed away around 1.30 am following a cardiac arrest, the hospital sources said, adding he had tested negative for COVID-19.
He is survived by his wife and son.
According to a family member of the Congress leader, he was taken to the hospital a few days back for regular health check-up.
Mitra had undergone a bypass surgery some years back when he was a Lok Sabha MP.
Gaurav Gogoi, Congress MP and All India Congress Committee incharge of party affairs in the state, condoled the demise of the West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee chief.
"My heart goes out to the family of the Lt Somen Mitra. He was a giant of Bengal, and he touched the lives of millions of people in his long journey. My condolences to his family and all those who admired him. His legacy will not be forgotten," Gogoi tweeted.
Commonly known as 'Chhorada' (younger brother), Mitra was one of the most firebrand politicians of the 1960s and '70s. He was baptized into the Congress, through student politics in the late sixties.
A three-time president of the Congress' West Bengal unit from 1992-1996, 1996-1998 and then again from September 2018, Mitra was a seven-term MLA from the Sealdah assembly constituency.
He left the Congress in 2008 to form his political outfit Pragatisheel (Progressive) Indira Congress. He later merged his outfit with the Trinamool Congress ahead of the 2009 Lok Sabha polls and won the election on a TMC ticket from the Diamond Harbour parliamentary seat that year.
Mitra quit the TMC in 2014 to rejoin the Congress.
He was one of the chief architects behind the Communist Party of India-Marxist-led Left Front and Congress alliance in West Bengal during the 2016 assembly polls.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday condoled the passing away of party's West Bengal unit president Somen Mitra and said that he will be remembered with "love, fondness and respect".
"All my love and support to family and friends of Somen Mitra at this difficult time. We will remember him with love, fondness and respect," Gandhi said in a tweet.
West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee too condoled the demise of state Congress president Somen Mitra.
Dhankhar said that as constitutional head of the state, he was enormously benefited by Mitra's wise counsel on several occasions.
"Saddened at the death of veteran Congress leader Somen Mitra. As constitutional head was enormously benefited by his wise counsel on several occasions," the governor said in a message.
"Bengal will always recall his sagacious contributions in public life," Dhankhar wrote in the social media message.
The chief minister said she was saddened to hear about the passing away of Mitra.
"Saddened to hear about the passing away of veteran leader, former MP and INC West Bengal president Somen Mitra," Banerjee said in a message.
"My deepest condolences to his family, followers and well-wishers," she wrote in her social media handle.