The veteran CPI (M) leader was suffering from cardiac-respiratory problems.
With his health declining, Surjeet was, for the first time, not included in the CPI (M) Polit Bureau at the party''s 19th congress in early April 2008. He was instead designated as Special Invitee to the Central Committee.
He was the General Secretary of the CPI (M) from 1992 to 2005 and was a member of the party''s Polit Bureau from 1964 to 2008.
After retiring from his post as General Secretary, Surjeet continued to play an active role in politics.