The new Bengal tiger
Bhattacharya was born on March 1, 1944, in Kolkata. He completed his primary education at the city's Sailendra Sarkar Vidyalaya and graduated with honours in Bengali from the prestigious Presidency College.
He was initiated into Left politics in college and soon rose in stature among the rank and file of the Communist party.
Photograph: AFP/Getty Images
Also See: Analysis: The message from Bengal