Kolkata: West Bengal Panchayat Minister and former Mayor of Kolkata Municipal Corporation Subrata Mukherjee died at a city hospital on Thursday evening. He was 76.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who considered Mukherjee to be her political mentor, rushed to the SSKM Hospital on getting the information.
Announcing the death of the veteran politician, she said: “I cannot believe in the midst of the festival of lights, such darkness will set in.”
Mukherjee was admitted to the SSKM Hospital with some heart ailments and a stent was placed but his condition started to deteriorate and he was shifted to ICCU in Woodburn Ward due to shortness of breath a couple of days before. Sources in the hospital said that he died of stent thrombosis at 9.25 p.m.
Joining politics in the 1960s, he became a cabinet minister in Congress leader Siddhartha Shankar Roy’s government when he was only 26. He was in charge of the state’s Information and Culture Department during the controversial state of emergency.
Leaving Congress, Mukherjee joined the Trinamool Congress in 2000 and was the Mayor of Kolkata Municipal Corporation 2001 and 2005 but developed distance from Banerjee, left the party and formed his own outfit. He contested the election under the banner of his new party, but despite his own victory, his party did not perform. Mukherjee then went back to Congress in 2007.
Mukherjee, who was not only considered to be an able administrator but also a clever politician, rejoined Trinamool in 2010. He won the Assembly election in 2011 when Banerjee registered a historic victory ending the 34-year-long Left Front rule.
He was made the Panchayat Minister and till his death, he handled the charge efficiently and successfully.
Mukherjee was also a colorful character in the political arena. Despite pursuing anti-Left politics, he maintained good relations with Left leaders at all levels in the state.