Hundreds bid adieu to Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi
Kolkata: Political leaders across party lines along with thousands of people from all walks of life on Tuesday bade farewell to veteran Congress leader and former union minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi.
Dasmunsi, who was in coma since 2008, died at a private hospital in New Delhi on Monday afternoon.
Bengal government had organised a state funeral at Raigunj where he was cremated on Tuesday evening to pay respect to the departed leader.
The mortal remains of Dasmunsi arrived at Kolkata airport on Monday evening and was kept at Peace Haven. His body was kept at Bidhan Bhavan, headquarters of Pradesh Congress between 8 am and 9 am when Congress leaders paid their last respect. Biman Bose, Left Front chairman who had association with Dasmunsi since mid-1960s came and placed a floral wreath. Dasmunsi was WBPCC president. Hundreds of common people stood in queues to pay their last respect to the departed leader.
From Bidhan Bhavan, his mortal remains were taken to Rani Bhavani Road in South Kolkata. Trinamool Congrss secretary general Partha Chatterjee and Mala Roy placed floral wreaths too. The South Kolkata residence of Dasmunsi used to be a centre of political activities when he was in town. Congress workers and leaders used to come to meet him. He was the editor of Dakshini Barta, a magazine which had gained immense popularity.
His body was flown to Raigunj in a helicopter. Subrata Mukherjee, state Panchayat and Rural Development minister who had gone to Malda to attend a function of the department drove down to Raigunj to pay last respects to his political mentor. "I joined politics because of Priya da. My life would have been different had I not met him in my student life," he said.
Thousands of people gathered at the helipad when Dasmunsi's coffin reached Raigunj. All shops and business establishments in Raigunj, Kaliagunj, Danmunsi's native place and Islampur were shut to show respect to the departed leader. He was elected three times as an MP from Raigunj.
Dasmunsi was a household name in Bengal politics from 1970s. Dasmunsi shot to fame in 1971 when he defeated Ganesh Ghosh, CPI(M) candidate and one of the lieutenants of Masterda Surya Sen in Chittagong Armoury raid. His political disciple Subrata Mukherjee defeated Jyoti Bhattacharya, the famous educationist in Ballygunge Assembly seat to become an MLA. Dasmunsi was an orator and an avid reader. With his death, an era in Bengal politics has come to an end.