Bengal Deputy Speaker Sukumar Hansda dies of cancer

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(Eds: Adds inputs) Kolkata, Oct 29 (PTI) West Bengal Assembly Deputy Speaker Sukumar Hansda died of cancer at a private hospital in Kolkata on Thursday, sources at the medical establishment said.

He was 66 and is survived by his wife, son and two daughters.

Hansda, a two-time Jhargram MLA and former Paschimanchal Unnayan minister, was diagnosed with prostate cancer earlier this year and was being treated for the last few months, Assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee said.

He was earlier admitted to state-run SSKM Hospital in the city and was shifted to the private hospital a few days back, Banerjee added.

A doctor by profession, Hansda had taken over as the deputy speaker of the Assembly in December, 2018 after the post fell vacant following the death of Haider Aziz Safwi due to age-related ailments.

Hansda was one of the key organisers and prominent tribal faces of the Trinamool Congress in Jhargram and Paschim Medinipur districts.

He was appointed as the state vice president of the TMC during the last organisational reshuffle.

Hansda was not included in the state cabinet after the party came to power for the second time in 2016.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee condoled his death.

'Deeply grieved to hear about the passing away of WB Assembly Dy Speaker & Jhargram MLA Shri Sukumar Hansda. He was also serving as AITC State Vice President. His relentless service for people shall always be remembered. My condolences to his family & followers,' she tweeted.

The West Bengal government has announced that flags in all government offices in the state will fly at half-mast during the day to mourn Hansda's death. PTI PNT ACD ACD