Former Rajya Sabha MP and senior journalist Chandan Mitra passed away late last night in Delhi, confirmed his son Kushan Mitra. He was 65.

Mitra was a nominated member of the Rajya Sabha from August 2003 to 2009. In June 2010, BJP got him elected to the upper house from Madhya Pradesh. His term ended in 2016. He was a close aide of party veteran L K Advani, but was sidelined by the Narendra Modi-Amit Shah leadership.

In July 2018, Mitra, Editor and Managing Director of The Pioneer, resigned from the BJP and joined the Trinamool Congress (TMC).

Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to condole Mitra’s demise. “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,” the prime minister tweeted.

Senior BJP leader Ram Madhav also expressed his condolences: “Very sorry to hear about the demise of former MP and senior journalist Sh Chandan Mitra. He was a good friend. Served on the India Foundation Board for many years until his health forced him to withdraw from public activism. Condolences to @kushanmitra and other near and dear. Om Shanti.”

Rajya Sabha MP Swapan Dasgupta, friend of Mitra, also took to Twitter to express his grief. “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,” he tweeted.

“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,” he said in another tweet.

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