Veteran Cong leader Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi no more

Dignitaries, political leaders condole demise
Report by: 
20 Nov 2017

Veteran Congress leader and former Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi, who was in coma since 2008, died on Monday at Apollo Hospital here, doctors said. He was 72.

"He died at 12.10 p.m. today (Monday). He had been critically ill for the past one month and unfortunately succumbed to his illness," said Apollo Hospital in a statement. He is survived by his wife Deepa Dasmunsi and son Priyadeep Dasmunsi who were at his bedside at the time of his passing, it said. Dasmunsi had suffered a brain stroke in 2008 and was admitted to AIIMS. Later he was shifted to home, and in 2009 he was admitted to Apollo Hospital here. The stroke left him paralysed and unable to speak. Blood supply to a part of Dasmunsi's brain was cut off causing irreversible damage. All basic life functions like breathing, blood pressure, sleep-awake cycle were stable but he was not conscious of his surroundings. Dasmunsi was a Member of Parliament from 1999 to 2009. He served as the Union minister of parliamentary affairs and minister of information and broadcasting from 2004 to 2008, during the first term of the Manmohan Singh-led UPA government.

Dasmunsi represented the Raiganj (Lok Sabha constituency) in West Bengal, which was later represented by his Deepa. He had begun his political career with the Indian Youth Congress before entering Parliament in 1971. He in 2006 became the first Indian to be a match commissioner in a FIFA World Cup game when he performed the role in a group stage game between Australia and Croatia in the 2006 World Cup.
Dasmunsi was heading the Indian football governing body at the time of his stroke in 2008, which led to Praful Patel taking over as president.  President Ram Nath Kovind today condoled the demise of the veteran Congress leader. "Sad to hear about the demise of former Union Minister and veteran political leader Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi," Kovind said in a tweet.

"He contributed much to Bengal and to the administration of football in our country. My condolences to his family and associates," the President said. Condoling the death, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, mentioning Dasmunsi as a popular leader with rich political and administrative experience. Modi tweeted: "Shri Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi was a popular leader with rich political and administrative experience. He did notable work to popularise football in India. Saddened by his demise. My thoughts are with Deepa Dasmunsi ji and family as well as his supporters." West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee expressed grief over the death of the senior Congress leader and called it a "great loss".

"I am deeply saddened by the death of Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi. My deep condolence to members of his family, well-wishers and party workers. He was a very popular leader in Bengal since 1972..." Mamata posted on her twitter handle. The TMC supremo said: "He (Dasmunsi) was in coma for almost 9 years. A massive stroke in 2008 virtually ended his political career. Otherwise he could have done more in his political life. He was still alive but now he is no more. It is a great loss. May his soul rest in peace," she tweeted. The chief minister also declared half-day holiday for state government employees as a mark of respect for Dasmunshi.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi today condoled the demise of the senior leader saying it is an "irreparable loss" to the party. In her condolence message, Sonia Gandhi described Dasmunsi as a "devout" political activist and "one of the tallest" leaders of West Bengal. She said Dasmunsi served the party and government "illustriously".