Millennium Post

Senior RSP leader Abani Roy passes away

New Delhi: Senior RSP leader and former MP Abani Roy passed away on Thursday. He was 84.

Roy died at the Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital in Delhi. His body was brought to Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) MP NK Premachandran's residence, where leaders from various political parties paid their tributes. Roy was cremated at the Lodhi Road crematorium here, party sources said.

West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo Mamata Banerjee offered her condolences on Roy's death.

"Deeply pained to hear about the demise of veteran leader and former Rajya Sabha MP Shri Abani Roy. Sincere condolences to his family and loved ones," she said in a tweet.

Associated with the RSP since the age of 20 in 1959, Roy was the member of its Central Secretariat, besides being the general secretary of the party for a brief period. After his retirement from Parliament and active politics and following deteriorating health, he was staying at Premachandran's residence here.

Roy's first foray into electoral politics was in 1978, when he was elected to the Kolkata Corporation. He entered the Rajya Sabha in 1998 and retired in August 2011. He was part of the top Left leadership that engaged with the Congress-led UPA when the Left parties were supporting the Manmohan Singh government from outside.

"I have many fond memories of him going back to the drafting of the Common Minimum Programme of UPA-1 in May 2004. Terrific sense of humour," Congress leader Jairam Ramesh tweeted.

While an RSP loyalist all his life, Roy resigned from the party in 2009, when a section of its leaders objected to his writing to then prime minister Manmohan Singh demanding that the government disallow the deal between Bharti Telecom and South African telecom major MTN and alleging that it was a threat to India's security.

Roy had also written a letter to Singh on the dispute between the Ambani brothers — Anil and Mukesh. His party colleagues had gone on record protesting against his writing the letters on corporate issues.

Roy had later withdrawn his resignation.

CPI(ML) general secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya, who visited the RSP office here to offer his condolences, remembered the veteran leader fondly.

"He was 84 and had been ailing for quite some time. Have fond memories of interacting with him in so many meetings and conferences of trade unions and Left parties in Delhi. Adieu, Comrade Abanida! #RedSalute," he said in a tweet.

TMC MP Dola Sen recalled the role Roy played for jute mill workers.

"Saddened by passing away of respected senior Trade Union Leader Abani Roy. Like many others, he took a very important role for Kanoria Jute workers. Deep respect to him," she wrote on Twitter.

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