Calcutta, March 28: Left Front chief whip Lakshmi De died here today following a heart attack, reports our special correspondent. He was 62 and is survived by his wife, Dipika, and a daughter.
De was admitted to the SSKM hospital four days ago after he complained of chest pain. He was shifted to the intensive care unit as his condition deteriorated and he went into coma. A medical board was formed to monitor his condition but efforts to save his life failed. He died around 12.45 this afternoon.
Born on January 1, 1940, De joined the undivided Communist Pary and formally became its member in 1961. In 1969, he was elected councillor of the Calcutta Municipal Corporation.
He was first elected to the state Assembly in 1982 from the Vidyasagar constituency.
He was returned from the same constituency in 1987 and 1991 Assembly elections. But he was denied a party ticket in 1996 Assembly elections following his alleged links with the satta don and main accused in the 1993 Bowbazar blast case, Rashid Khan. The party, however, later withdrew the disciplinary action against him on the basis of an enquiry report. De, who was again nominated to contest the 2001 Assembly polls from Vidyasagar, retained the seat by defeating the Trinamul Congress, Mahua Mondal.
Condoling the death, chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said De’s performance as Left Front chief whip was “commendable.” Speaker Hasim Abdul Halim said De was acceptable not only to Left Front MLAs but to all sections of legislators due to his “cordial behaviour.” Leader of the Opposition and Trinamul Congress leader Pankaj Banerjee and CPM state secretary Anil Biswas also condoled the death.
The body was first taken to the Assembly and then to the CPM headquarters and later to his residence before it was cremated at the Nimtala burning ghat.