PM condoles death of Mamata Banerjee's mother

Singh condoled the death of the mother of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today condoled the death of the mother of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

"I was deeply sorry to hear of the passing away of your mother this morning. I know how close she was to you and I can feel your pain and sense of loss at this sad happening," Singh said in a condolence message to Banerjee from his camp office in Moscow.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with you," Singh, who was in Moscow on a three-day visit for the 12th annual Indo-Russian Summit, said in the message.

Gayatri Devi, 81-year-old mother of Banerjee, died at a state-run hospital in Kolkata this morning. She was suffering from old age-related ailments and was on life support system for the past fortnight.

Mamata Banerjee was born to Gayatri and Promileswar Banerjee on January 5, 1955 in Kolkata.

For Mamata, who pulled off a landslide victory for the Trinamool Congress and Congress combine in West Bengal assembly polls bringing to an end 34 years of Left Front rule in the state, her mother was a source of inspiration throughout her political career.

At a recent campaign meeting for the just-concluded Kolkata Dakshin Lok Sabha seat by-election at Picnic Garden, the Chief Minister had said, "Amar Maai Amar Shob Kichhu. Ma Chhara Amar Kono Poribar Nei. Manushi-i-amar Poribar (My mother is my everything. Apart from her I have no other family. The people are my family).

She lost her father Promileswar Banerjee, a school teacher when she was barely 12 years old. After her father's death she took up the responsibility of her mother and her brothers with the help of elder brother Ajit.

After becoming West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata had said that she would not move out of her modest residence on grounds of security.

"I have been living there and meeting people every day. Big leaders stay beyond the masses. I prefer to live with them," Mamata had said.

Mamata had once said that her mother used to give her Rs ten everyday as pocket money and Rs 100 before she travelled to Delhi. She used to save this money given to her by her mother and spent it on Goddess Kali Puja every year.

Mamata has been organising the puja at her residence in south Kolkata since 1978 when she was a student leader.

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