Nirupam Sen (left) and Dwijen Mukhopadhyay. In file photographs.
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Kolkata: Bengal today lost two of its prominent figures ~ a politician who wanted to usher in a second industrial resurgence and, a singer who enthralled people with his melodies voice for nearly six decades.

CPI-M leader Nirupam Sen, who was the industries minister in Left Front government in Bengal from 2001-2011, breathed his last at the private AMRI Hospital at Salt Lake early this morning.

Sen was keeping unwell even since he suffered a cerebral stroke 2013 and was partially paralysed. He was admitted to AMRI Hospital earlier this month due to kidney ailment and other complications.

As his condition deteriorated, doctors put him on life support on 12 December. He died early this morning after his family and party, at the advice of the doctors, decided not to continue with the life-support anymore.

The 72-year-old politician is survived by wife, a daughter and, a son. After a visit to his local residence at Salt Lake, Sen’s mortal remains have now been kept at Peace Haven in central Kolkata.

Tomorrow being Christmas, his family has decided that Sen will be cremated at his native place Burdwan on Wednesday (26 December). On that day, his cortege will be taken to the CPI-M state headquarters and its trade wing CITU office in Kolkata.

After this, the body will be taken to Burdwan for the cremation. Till then, the CPI-M Bengal unit has suspended all its political programmes and will keep the party flag at half-mast.

Sen was the key man behind the push for Tata Nano car in Singur that the now Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee stalled by way of her agitation against forcible land acquisition. He was also a Politburo member until in 2015 when he stepped down due to ill health.

Banerjee has extended her condolence at Sen’s demise. “Saddened at the passing away of Nirupam Sen, former Minister of West Bengal. Condolences to his family and well wishers,” she has tweeted.

Within a few hours of Sen’s death came the news of the demise of veteran Bengali singer Dwijen Mukhopadhyay (91) early in the afternoon.

The veteran was diagnosed with cancer in September this year and, was also diagnosed with cancer. He breathed his last at his Salt Lake residence. He was born in 1972 started his singing career in 1944. In the past six decades, he rendered voice to some 1,500 songs.

In recognition of his musical talents, the Centre decorated him with Padma Bhushan in 2010 and, the Bengal government with Banga Bibhushan in 201. Besides this, he was conferred several other awards by the state government in the past seven years.

On hearing about his demise, the Chief Minister tweeted: “I am at a loss for words. Dwijen Da (Mukherjee) is no more. End of an era. Huge loss for the music industry of #Bangla. This is also a personal loss. We had felicitated him with ‘Banga Bibhushan’ award in 2011. Condolences to his family and fans.”

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