Veteran Congress leader Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi dies at 72: Former Union minister was in coma since 2008

Veteran Congress leader and former All India Football Federation president Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi passed away on Monday at the age of 72. He was declared dead at 12.10 pm.

Apollo Hospital, according to Hindustan Times, said in a statement, "he had been critically ill for the past one month and unfortunately succumbed to his illness at 12.10 pm."

His body will be taken to the Congress headquarters on Akbar Road in Delhi, where top party leaders including its vice-president Rahul Gandhi will pay their homage.

Dasmunsi had been in a coma since 2008 when he suffered a stroke, which left him paralysed and unable to speak, reported India Today. It further said that Dasmunsi had been on life support since the stroke which had blocked off blood supply to a part of his brain.

 Veteran Congress leader Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi dies at 72: Former Union minister was in coma since 2008

File image of Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi. Courtesy: Twitter/@INCIndia

His body functions, according to The Indian Express, were functional but he breathed through a tracheostomy tube attached to his neck and was fed through a PEG tube in his stomach.

He is survived by his wife Deepa Dasmunsi and son Priyadeep Dasmunsi.

Dasmunsi represented the Raiganj Lok Sabha constituency in West Bengal and was also the state president of the Indian Youth Congress in West Bengal from 1970 to 1971, Zee News said in a report. After his hospitalisation, Congress fielded his wife from his constituency in 2009.

He entered Parliament in 1971 and became a minister for the first time in 1985, when he was sworn in as Union Minister of State for Commerce.

He was also Cabinet minister for parliamentary affairs and information and broadcasting in the Manmohan Singh government. During his term, he had banned western TV networks for programmes showing "obscene" content, the report added.

He also served as the president of All India Football Federation for close to 20 years. He was the first Indian to serve as a match commissioner in a FIFA World Cup game, Hindustan Times said in the report.

The Congress expressed its condolences at the passing of Dasmunsi and said that he will be greatly remembered.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi condoled his demise, saying it is an "irreparable loss" to the party. She 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".

"His work at the immense work at the grassroots would be remembered for posterity," she said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that Dasmunsi was a political leader with rich political and administrative experience.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Nov 20, 2017 15:11:19 IST