Veteran CPI-M leader, ex-MP Khagen Das dead

KOLKATA / AGARTALA:

Veteran CPI-M leader Khagen Das, who was the convenor of Tripura's ruling Left Front and a former Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha member, died here following a massive cardiac arrest on Sunday, party sources said.

Das, 80, a former Tripura minister, leaves behind his wife and two daughters.

Das, who was here to attend a Central Committee meeting of the Communist Party of India-Marxist, complained of chest pain early on Sunday while at Tripura Bhavan where he was put up.

"He expired within 10 minutes at 3.35 a.m.," a party leader said.

Das was one of the speakers on day two of the Central Committee session on Saturday.

Expressing its shock and grief, the CPI-M decided to fly its flag at half mast as a "homage to this fighter for the cause of the working people".

His body would be flown to Tripura capital Agartala.

Das was a Rajya Sabha member from 1998 to 2002, when he was elected to the Lok Sabha from Tripura West. He retained the seat in 2004 and 2009.

Das was a two-term (1978 to 1988) legislator in the Tripura Assembly from Majlishpur constituency and served as the Health, Statistics and Revenue Minister in the state from 1983 to 1988.

A post-graduate from Calcutta University, he was the political secretary to then Tripura Chief Minister Dasarath Deb from 1993 to 1998.

He was elected convenor of the Tripura Left Front in 2006 and served in that capacity till his death. He was also a member of the party's Tripura State Secretariat.