West Bengal Congress president Somendranath Mitra passes away

West Bengal Congress president Somendranath Mitra passes away

Mitra played a crucial role in forging an electoral understanding of Left parties and Congress in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee president Somendranath Mitra passed away at a city hospital in the early hours of Thursday. He was 78 and was admitted to the health facility a few days ago  with kidney related ailments.

A veteran Congress leader, Somen Mitra as he was often referred to, took charge of West Bengal Congress in 2018. He played a crucial role in forging an electoral understanding of Left parties and Congress in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. This was his third stint as Bengal Congress chief.

Mitra, who was an influential leader of Congress from the north Kolkata rose to prominence in the 1970s. He became MLA in 1972 from Sealdah Assembly seat, and went on to represent the constituency seven times. He left the Congress party in 2008, floated his own outfit and joined Trinamool Congress in 2009. Mitra represented Diamond Harbour Lok Sabha seat from 2009 to 2014 as a Trinamool Congress MP.  He severed his ties with Trinamool Congress and returned to Congress party in 2014.

The loss for Bengal Congress comes at a crucial time when the party was trying to provide a third alternative to the people of the State by forging an understanding with the Left parties ahead of 2021 Assembly polls. With many of the Congress leaders  from State unit of the party joining the Trinamool Congress during the past two decades, the party is left with only a few senior leaders like Rajya Sabha MP Pradip Bhattacharya and Congress MP and leader of the party in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury.

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