Kolkata | Jagran News Desk: West Bengal Congress President Somen Mitra passed away at the age of 78 in the wee hours of Thursday, said his family members. He is survived by his wife and son. 

The 78-year-old Congress President was admitted at a private hospital in Kolkata with kidney ailments a few days ago. He passed away at 1.30 am following a cardiac arrest.

"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 (COPD) and also had other age-related ailments," news agency PTI quoted a senior hospital official as saying.

According to hospital officials, Mitra had tested negative for the novel coronavirus which has affected over 60,000 in West Bengal so far.

Mitra's family members told PTI that the veteran Congress leader was admitted to a private a hospital in Kolkata a few days and had undergone a bypass surgery some years back when he was a Lok Sabha MP.

Several Congress leaders expressed grief over Mitra's demise. "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," tweeted Congress' Gaurav Gogoi.

Mitra, who was also known as 'Chhorada', 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 (TMC) 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 CPI (M)-led Left Front and Congress alliance in West Bengal during the 2016 assembly polls.

(With PTI inputs)

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma