Somnath Chatterjee was a strong voice for the well-being of the poor and vulnerable, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the former Lok Sabha Speaker who passed away Monday morning at the age of 89. Remembering him as a stalwart of Indian politics, the PM tweeted, “He made our Parliamentary democracy richer and was a strong voice for the well-being of the poor and vulnerable. Anguished by his demise. My thoughts are with his family and supporters.”
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Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, also took to Twitter to express his condolences and said, “Saddened by the demise of former Lok Sabha Speaker, Shri Somnath Chatterjee. He was an outstanding Parliamentarian, who was elected to Lok Sabha 10 times. He was always affable and highlighted people’s problems. He firmly stood by the principles he believed in.”
Politicians across party lines reacted to his death and expressed their condolences to the grieving family. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted, “I am sorry to know about the sad demise of Shri Somnath Chatterjee. Inspite of our ideological differences, we cherished a very cordial relationship. My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family.”
Chatterjee’s health condition deteriorated last Tuesday and breathed his last this morning. He was the Speaker during the first five-year term (2004-2009) of the United Progressive Alliance government and was elected to Parliament’s Lower House ten times since 1971.