Former Chief Minister and veteran CPI-M leader V.S. Achuthanandan said: "Till his last, he stood very firmly for values. That was all the more evident when he was the Speaker of the Lok Sabha. A huge loss for the CPI-M."
Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala said he was fortunate to sit beside Chatterjee in the Lok Sabha a few times and learned several things from the Communist veteran.
"He was a practical politician... He was one of the best speakers the country has had," he said.
Chatterjee breathed his last at a hospital in Kolkata on Monday morning. The 89-year-old was earlier admitted to the Bellevue Clinic in the city on June 25 after suffering a haemorrhagic stroke. According to reports, he had suffered a heart attack on August 7 and was put on ventilator support and doctors said his condition was critical.
He underwent treatment for 40 days and was discharged for three days after his health showed signs of improvement. However, he was re-admitted after his condition deteriorated last Tuesday.
Chatterjee, regarded as an outstanding parliamentarian, was a 10-time Lok Sabha MP and former central committee member of the CPI(M), and served as the Lok Sabha Speaker from 2004 to 2009.
He was given the Outstanding Parliamentarian Award in 1996 for his overall contribution to Parliament.
CPIM PolitBuro expresses its grief & sorrow at the death of former Speaker &10 time Lok Sabha MP, #SomnathChatterjee.â€” CPI (M) (@cpimspeak) August 13, 2018
He played an important role in defending the foundations of the Indian Constitution particularly its secular democratic foundations and federalism.