Veteran politician Somen Mitra, who headed the West Bengal unit of Congress party, died at a hospital in Kolkata earlier today of kidney and other related ailments.
The 78-year-old was admitted at the hospital a few days ago 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, said a senior official of the hospital.
He passed away at around 1:30 am following a cardiac arrest, the official added.
Mitra tested negative for Covid-19. He is survived by his wife and son.
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 legislator from Sealdah assembly constituency in central Kolkata.
He left Congress in 2008 to form his political outfit Pragatisheel (Progressive) Indira Congress, which he later merged with the Trinamool Congress (TMC) ahead of the 2009 Lok Sabha polls and won the election on a Trinamool ticket from Diamond Harbour parliamentary seat that year.
A close confidant of late Congress leader from Malda ABA Ghani Khan Chowdhury, Mitra quit Trinamool Congress in 2014 to return to Congress.
He was one of the main votaries of the alliance between Congress and the CPI (M)-led Left Front, which had ruled West Bengal from 1977 to 2011, that was forged in West Bengal during the 2016 assembly polls with disastrous electoral consequences.