Former Union Minister and veteran Congress leader Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi has breathed his last at Apollo Hospital in Delhi. For the last 9 years, he was in coma and suffered from prolonged illness. In 2008 he suffered a massive stroke and went in coma. With his death comes the end of an episode of Congress fightback against the Communists in West Bengal.
A wonderful orator, exemplary Parliamentarian and a seasoned campaigner – Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi was the face of youth Congress in the early 60’s when he along with Subrata Mukherjee reestablished the Congress base in Bengal.
In his political life of more than five decades, he achieved applauds for his abilities. As an administrator, he won laurels as the one who initiated the National Football League (I-league). For 20 years, he served as the President of the All India Football Federation. As Information and Broadcasting Minister, some of his decisions drew flak from several quarters including his diktat to ban some TV channels.
In later stages of his political career, he played a liaison between the Congress High Command in Delhi to that of state Congress in West Bengal. When Prime Minister Narendra Modi came into power, the NDA government didn’t discontinue treatment of Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi.
No doubt, Congress has lost a true stalwart and the void will be too hard to fill up in the days to come. In the Raiganj constituency, where Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi used to contest, is not at all a safe seat for the Congress. Although his wife has Deepa Dasmunsi has fought with Congress ticket, she has never been able to reach the masses the way Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi did in his early days.