Kolkata/ New Delhi:
Veteran Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader in Bengal – Shyamal Chakraborty – died at a Kolkata hospital today, days after he was hospitalised for coronavirus treatment.
The 76-year-old leader, who served Bengal thrice as the transport minister between 1982 and 1996, had tested positive for the highly infectious disease last month.
He was admitted to Peerless Hospital on July 30 and put on ventilator on August 1. He is reported to have suffered a cardiac arrest in the morning after which, according to his doctor, he was stabilised.
But after a second cardiac arrest, he breathed his last around 1.50 PM.
Shyamal Chakraborty was a veteran trade unionist and a member of the working committee of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU).
He was also a sitting member of the CPM’s key decision making body, the Central Committee. He had earlier served as CPM Rajya Sabha MP, state chief of CITU and member of the CPM state committee.
He is survived by daughter Ushasi Chakraborty, an actor.
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee has expressed her condolences over Mr Chakraborty’s death. “Saddened at the passing away of veteran leader, former Member of Parliament and former Bengal minister Shyamal Chakraborty. My condolences to his family, friends and supporters,” she tweeted.
Saddened at the passing away of veteran leader, former Member of Parliament and former Bengal minister Shyamal Chakraborty. My condolences to his family, friends and supporters— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) August 6, 2020
Politburo member Biman Bose said, “Comrade Shyamal Chakraborty was a student leader, a labour leader and a mass leader. He was not only a very good speaker but also a good writer. I was among his friends and he was one of my mother’s favourites.”
CPM state chief Dr Surjya Kanta Misra, who rushed to hospital to oversee arrangements, said since Mr Chakraborty was covid positive, there were rules that would have to be followed for the last rites. “Flags at all our party offices will fly at half-mast today,” he said.
Bengal has logged over 83,000 cases of coronavirus since the beginning of the pandemic.
On Wednesday, the state reported the highest single-day surge in new patients and fatalities linked to the disease; 2,816 new cases were registered while 61 COVID-19 patients died in a span of 24 hours.
Kolkata continues to be the district with the highest number of coronavirus deaths in the state with at least 25 fatalities on Wednesday. In a first, the state’s North 24 Parganas raced past Kolkata and reported 709 new coronavirus cases, 44 more than the state capital.
Subhash Bose, a Trinamool Congress (TMC) Councillor of Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation, died of coronavirus after a 12-day battle against COVID-19.
Another TMC MLA tested positive in the South 24 Parganas as did a party MLA and her husband at Malda.
In June, Trinamool MLA Tamonash Ghosh, 60, had died due to COVID-19 at a hospital in Kolkata.
Meanwhile, there are 1,258 containment zones in the state.
Kolkata has 40 containment zones, while North 24 Paraganas has 110, Howrah has 91, Hooghly has 42 and South 24 Parganas has 63. These are the districts which report the highest number of new cases almost regularly.
India’s coronavirus tally surged to 19.64 lakh cases this morning after over 56,000 new cases were reported since yesterday.
(With inputs from PTI)