Bardhan, 92, survived by son Ashok and daughter Alka, will be cremated on Monday. "Bardhan's cremation will take place on January 4 (Monday)," a party statement said.

The CPI leader was admitted to GB Pant hospital here after he suffered a paralytic stroke last month. Dr Vinod Puri, Director and Professor of Neurology in G B Pant Hospital, said Bardhan "died at 8:20 PM. He suffered a brain stroke due to blockage in the middle cerebral artery. He was in comma."

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress President Sonia Gandhi paid rich tributes to the senior-most Left leader, describing him as a "passionate communist and a champion of the marginalized people". "Will always remember Shri AB Bardhan as a passionate Communist, fully committed to his ideology & principles. May his soul rest in peace(sic)," Modi tweeted.

Gandhi said, "In his demise, not only the CPI but the entire nation has lost a leader who championed the cause of THE dispossessed and marginalized throughout his life."

CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said Bardhan's wisdom, experience and guidance will be missed. "Red salute, Comrade Bardhan. We miss your wisdom, experience & guidance (sic)," he tweeted.

BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi described his death as a huge loss to Indian politics. "My deep condolences to his family & well wishers," he tweeted. JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav said the CPI stalwart had epitomized the continuous struggle for the cause of the masses and was a "tall" leader of the Left movement.

Recalling his long association with Bardhan, Yadav said he first heard him at a public meeting when he was only 12-year-old and went on to build a long political association with him after joining politics. Bardhan, who lived in the CPI headquarters in the national capital, was admitted to the hospital on December 7 after he felt uneasiness and lost consciousness.

His wife, a professor in Nagpur University, had died in 1986. Ardhendu Bhushan Bardhan has been a leading figure of the trade union movement and Left politics in Maharashtra. Bardhan entered the electoral politics in 1957 when he won as an Independent in Maharashtra Assembly polls but failed to achieve success in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha polls.

He later rose to become the General Secretary and then President of All India Trade Union Congress, the oldest trade union in India. Bardhan had moved to Delhi politics in 1990s and became the Deputy General Secretary of CPI. He succeeded Indrajit Gupta as General Secretary of the party in 1996.

Expressing grief over demise of AB Bardhan, ex-pramukh Sahebpur Kamal and CPI zila parishad member Manoj Kumar said, "It is irreprable loss to the nation."

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