Kolkata, July 18: Freedom fighter and veteran CPI-M leader Samar Mukherjee, whose centenary was celebrated by the party in November 2012, died here on Thursday, a party leader said. He was a bachelor.
"Mukherjee was admitted last night with breathing problems. He passed away this morning at around 10," said Rabin Deb of the Communist Party of India-Marxist.
Born in Amta in Howrah district Nov 7, 1913 - exactly four years before Lenin took power in Russia - the articulate Mukherjee represented Howrah in the Lok Sabha for three consecutive terms between 1971 and 1984.The widely respected Mukherjee represented a generation of Communist leaders who renounced comforts and remained wedded to the party and its ideology.
He rose to become the party's leader in the house and in parliament. He was elected to the Rajya Sabha in 1986. Earlier, he was a member of the West Bengal assembly from 1957 to 1971.
Mukherjee was dismissed from school for protesting against the Simon Commission during British rule and was jailed for taking part in the civil midsobedience movement. He completed his studies later.
Mukherjee became a member of the undivided Communist Party of India (CPI) in 1940. When the party split in 1964, he joined the CPI-M.
Mukherjee served the party in a variety of roles. At various times, he was general secretary of its labour wing CITU, headed its refugee arm, besides being a member of the politburo and the central committee.
He also chaired for long the party's disciplinary body, the Central Control Commission.
Known for his simple and spartan lifestyle, Mukherjee left his family in 1940 to live in a party commune in Howrah.
He moved to the CPI-M's commune in south Kolkata's Dilkhusha Street in 1965 where he was the sole occupant in his last days.
In November last year, the party organised a rare function to felicitate Mukherjee on his 100th birthday when it released his biography and a book of tribute.
Mukherjee's body will be kept at the CPI-M state committee office for people to pay homage before it is donated to a hospital as per his wish, the party announced.