New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Senior journalist Chandan Mitra, who served as a member of Rajya Sabha from 2003 to 2009, passed away on late Wednesday night due to prolonged illness, confirmed his son Kushan Mitra.

Born on December 12, 1954, in West Bengal's Howrah, Mitra, who worked in several media organisations, was the editor-in-chief and managing director (MD) of The Pioneer.

He completed his primary education at La Martiniere Calcutta and was also awarded the Founder's Gold Medal in 1971. Later, he went to Delhi and completed his graduation the St. Stephen's College at Delhi University (DU).

It was during his time in St. Stephen's where he met Congress' Shashi Tharoor. The two went on to become close friends and Mitra played a crucial role in Tharoor's successful campaign to become President of the college's student union.

President Kovind, PM Modi, others express grief

President Ram Nath Kovind condoled Mitra's death and said that his demise "leaves a void in Indian journalism". "Chandan Mitra was an outstanding journalist and his stint as a parliamentarian added to his reputation. His understanding of Hindi heartland and its history was profound. His demise leaves a void in Indian journalism," the President tweeted.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also expressed grief over the demise of the veteran journalist and said that he will always be "remembered for his intellect and insights". "He distinguished himself in the world of media as well as politics. Anguished by his demise. Condolences to his family and admirers. Om Shanti," he tweeted.

Kushan Mitra said his father had been suffering for a while.

"Since it is already out there; Dad passed away late last night. He had been suffering for a while," his son said in a tweet.

Mitra was considered close to BJP leader LK Advani.

BJP MP Swapan Dasgupta posted a picture of Chandan Mitra and himself from a school trip in 1972 and wished for his friend to be happy wherever he was.

"I lost my closest friend—editor of Pioneer & former MP Chandan Mitra—this morning. We were together as students of La Martiniere & went on to St Stephen's & Oxford. We joined journalism at the same time & shared the excitement of Ayodhya & the saffron wave," he said in a tweet.

"I am posting a photograph of Chandan Mitra and me together during a school trip in 1972. Be happy my dear friend wherever you are. Om Shanti," Dasgupta said.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma