Former Information and Broadcasting Minister and veteran Congress leader Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi today passed away at a private hospital in Delhi, according to reports. Dasmunsi, who was also Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister, had suffered a massive cardiac arrest in 2008 that severely damaged one part of his brain because of the prolonged disruption of oxygen supply. He is survived by his wife MP Deepa Dasmunsi and son Priyadeep Dasmuni. Dasmunsi was an avid follower of sports and a long-time head of All India Football Federation.
Congress has condoled the death. “Our deepest condolences on the passing of respected Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi, our veteran Congress leader and former union minister. He will be greatly remembered for his contributions, especially to Indian Football,” the party said on its Twitter handle.
“He had been critically ill since the past one month and succumbed to the illness at 12.10 pm. His family members including wife Deepa Dasmunsi and their son were at his bedside at that time,” Apollo hospital authorities said.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi has condoled the demise of senior leader Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi, saying it is an “irreparable loss” to the party. In her condolence message, Sonia Gandhi 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.
Watch this video
Dasmunsi’s body will be taken to the Congress headquarters on Akbar Road in New Delhi, where top party leaders including its vice president Rahul Gandhi will pay their homage.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said, “I am deeply saddened by the death of Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi. It is a great loss. May his soul rest in peace.”
The Indian football fraternity today mourned the death of former AIFF President Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi, who served in the position for nearly two decades. “His contribution to Indian football can never be forgotten. Under him, the National Football League started in 1996 (which was rechristened I-League in 2007) and everything today is moving ahead based on the foundation he laid,” All India Football Federation (AIFF) vice-President Subrata Dutta said. Dasmunsi first became the AIFF President in 1989, succeeding K Ziauddin, and held the position for 19 years.
Dasmunsi was in coma since 2008. Blood supply to a part of his brain was cut off causing irreversible damage during the cardiac arrest. His body systems were functional but he breathed through a tracheostomy tube attached to his neck and was fed through a PEG tube in his stomach. All basic life functions like breathing, blood pressure, sleep awake cycle were stable but he was not conscious of his surroundings.
Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi was an MP from Raiganj, West Bengal. The constituency is now represented by his wife Deepa.
The influence of Dasmunsi in West Bengal politics can be gauged from the fact that he featured on the Congress’s 90-member campaign committee for the 2016 West Bengal assembly elections. Till then he was in coma.