New Delhi: Veteran Communist Party of India leader A. B. Bardhan, who steered the party during the turbulent period of coalition politics at national level in 1990s, died here on Saturday night after prolonged illness.
Bardhan, 92, is survived by son Ashok and daughter Alka. His wife, a professor in Nagpur University, died in 1986.
Bardhan was admitted to G. B. Pant hospital here after he suffered paralytic stroke last month.
Dr Vinod Puri, Director and Professor of Neurology in G. B. Pant Hospital, said Bardhan "died at 8:20pm. He had a brain stroke due to blockage in the middle cerebral artery. He was in comma."
Earlier in the day, Raja said the condition of Bardhan had "worsened" with his blood pressure levels falling. "Condition of Comrade Bardhan has worsened today. He was put off ventilator yesterday and was able to breath normally. But today, his blood pressure (level) fell and his condition has turned very critical now," CPI national secretary D Raja said.
Bardhan, who lived in the CPI headquarters in the national capital, was admitted to the hospital on December 7 after he felt uneasiness and lost consciousness.
Ardhendu Bhushan Bardhan has been a leading figure of the trade union movement and Left politics in Maharashtra.
Bardhan entered the electoral politics in 1957 when he won as an Independent candidate in Maharashtra Assembly polls but there failed to achieve success in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha polls.
He later rose to become the General Secretary and then President of All India Trade Union Congress, the oldest trade union in India.
Bardhan had moved to Delhi politics in 1990s and became the Deputy General Secretary of CPI. He succeeded Indrajit Gupta as General Secretary of the party in 1996. CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury paid tributes to Bardhan saying his wisdom, experience and guidance will be missed. "Red salute, Comrade Bardhan. We miss your wisdom, experience & guidance," he tweeted.
BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi described the death of Bardhan is a "huge loss to Indian politics." "My deep condolences to his family & well wishers," the Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs tweeted.
JD (U)chief Sharad Yadav said that the CPI stalwart had epitomised the continuous stuggle for the cause of the masses and was a "tall" leader of the Left movement. "I pay my rich tributes to him. He was a tall leader who always fought for the people's cause," Yadav said. Recalling his long association with Bardhan, Yadav said he first heard him at a public meeting when he was only 12 years old and went on to build a long political associatiom with him after joining politics.