Manna Dey’s death is a personal loss: Mamata Banerjee

There can be no substitute for the singer, says the West Bengal Chief Minister

Describing singing legend Manna Dey‘s death as the loss of a golden voice and era, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said there can be no substitute for the maestro.

Banerjee, participating in a Trinamool Congress conference in the hill town of Darjeeling, offered floral tributes to Dey who died in Bangalore in the wee hours on October 24.

“I knew him personally. I had met him in Bangalore earlier this year. His death is a personal loss. He is an icon. It’s a loss not only for the country, but to the music world,” she said.

Banerjee said during the meeting, she requested Dey to come and stay in Kolkata. “He was happy to hear this and expressed his desire to do so. But it could not happen,” she said.

Recalling the meeting, she said: “He had then told me he would live up to 100 years.”

In a post on her Facebook page, the chief minister said: “I was sad since morning. He was awarded Sangeet Samman ‘Bishesh Sangeet Mahasamman’. There will be no substitute of Manna Dey.”

Mamata said, “The memories of one of the biggest singers of our times fill me with deep nostalgia. We have lost a golden voice and golden era,” she said.

Later, Banerjee garlanded Dey’s photo at the district magistrate’s office in Darjeeling and lit a lamp. She observed a minute’s silence in Dey’s memory. “We wanted to bring the body to Kolkata, and pay a gun salute, but as that was not possible we are paying our respects. In Kolkata’s Rabindra Sadan, musicians, eminent personalities and commoners paid their last respects.”