Former MP, Journalist Chandan Mitra dies at 65

Former MP, Journalist Chandan Mitra dies at 65

New Delhi: Former Rajya Sabha member and editor of The Pioneer died on Wednesday night. He was 65. Mr. Mitra was the editor and publisher of The Pioneer but resigned to the post in June 2021.  

Mr. Mitra, a former BJP leader, and Rajya Sabha member, was close confident of Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L.K. Advani. Later he switched to Trinamool Congress in 2018. Condolence messages poured from cutting across political parties to the departed leader. 

Mr. Mitra had joined politics in 2003 as a Rajya Sabha member. In 2010, he was reelected for Rajya Sabha for a second term from BJP. In 2018, he quit the BJP and joined the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress.

His son Kushan Mitra shared the news of the demise of Mitra. Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that “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,". 

Defense minister Rajnath Singh praised Mitra’s “deep knowledge, sharp writings and contributions towards journalism and politics." Deeply anguished by his passing away. My thoughts are with his family and admirers in this hour of sadness," he tweeted.

BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP Swapan Dasgupta said, “I am posting a photograph of Chandan Mitra and me together during a school trip in 1972. Be happy, my dear friend, wherever you are. Om Shanti."

“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," Mr. Swapan Dasgupta tweeted. 

President Ram Nath Kovind said that Mitra was an outstanding journalist, and his stint as a parliamentarian added to his reputation. “His understanding of Hindi heartland and its history was profound. His demise leaves a void in Indian journalism. My heartfelt condolences to his family and friends, he added.

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee tweeted, “Saddened by the demise of Shri Chandan Mitra. He will be remembered for his contribution to the world of journalism and politics. Heartfelt condolences to his family and loved ones."

Former BJP general secretary Ram Madhav said he was “very sorry” to hear about the death of Mr. Mitra, whom he also described as a “good friend.” 

Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur said Mr. Mitra was an immensely respected editor who led The Pioneer. “His vast experience and insightful understanding of issues always gave readers a new perspective. A huge loss for journalism.”

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor said Mr. Mitra was his campaign manager during his successful race to be the St Stephen's College Union Society president post. He added that they remained in touch over the years until "politics separated us."

Congress national spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill praised Mr. Mitra's art of making a point without noise and maintaining dignity during television debates.

Union Minister Bhupender Yadav said Mr. Mitra contributed immensely to the field of politics and journalism. “May his family find the strength to deal with the loss,” he added.

Union Minister of Law and Justice Kiren Rijiju said he was shocked and deeply saddened after hearing about the death of “dear old friend Chandan Mitra Ji.” He said he will always cherish their friendship and the memorable moments that they shared for a long time.