Veteran journalist, former RS MP Chandan Mitra passes away
Former parliamentarian and veteran journalist Chandan Mitra passed way late on Wednesday after prolonged illness, his son Kushan Mitra said. Mitra was 65. He is survived by his wife Shobori Ganguly, and their two sons.
“Since it is already out there; Dad passed away late last night. He had been suffering for a while,” Kushan tweeted on Thursday.
Mitra was a nominated member of the Rajya Sabha from August 2003 to 2009. In June 2010, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) got him elected to the upper house from Madhya Pradesh. His term ended in 2016. He was a close aide of party veteran LK Advani.
In his illustrious career as a journalist, he worked with The Statesman, The Times of India, The Sunday Observer, and Hindustan Times, before joining The Pioneer.
In July 2018, Mitra, editor and managing director of The Pioneer, resigned from the BJP and joined the Trinamool Congress (TMC). However, he continued to be the MD of the newspaper till June this year.
Tributes poured in for the journalist-turned-politician on Thursday. Offering his condolences, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, “Shri Chandan Mitra Ji will be remembered for his intellect and insights. He distinguished himself in the world of media as well as politics. Anguished by his demise. Condolences to his family and admirers. Om Shanti.”
Rajya Sabha MP Swapan Dasgupta took to Twitter and said he lost his closest friend. Posting a photo from a school trip in 1972, Dasgupta wrote, “I lost my closest friend—editor of Pioneer & former MP Chandan Mitra—this morning. We were together as students of La Martiniere & went on to St Stephen’s & Oxford. We joined journalism at the same time & shared the excitement of Ayodhya & the saffron wave.”
Congress MP Shashi Tharoor remembered Mitra as his campaign manager in the election for St Stephen’s College Union Society. “Deeply saddened by this news. Chandan was my campaign manager in my successful race to be President of the St Stephen’s College Union Society, served in my Cabinet and succeeded me. We remained in touch over the years, ironically till I returned to Delhi& politics separated us. RIP,” Tharoor tweeted.
“Dr. Chandan Mitra had friends across the political spectrum and made very learned speeches in the Rajya Sabha. Apart from his professional qualifications, his knowledge of Hindi film music was awesome, which he used with great effect in his interventions and writings.,” Rajya Sabha member Jairam Ramesh tweeted.
Senior BJP leader Ram Madhav also expressed his condolences. “Very sorry to hear about the demise of former MP and senior journalist Sh Chandan Mitra. He was a good friend. Served on the India Foundation Board for many years until his health forced him to withdraw from public activism. Condolences to @kushanmitra and other near and dear. Om Shanti,” he tweeted.