Former Union minister Akhilesh Das dead

Former Union minister and Congress leader Akhilesh Das passed away after suffering heart attack in Lucknow on Wednesday, a party source confirmed. He was 56.

Das had rejoined the Congress ahead of the assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.

Das was Minister of State for Steel in the Manmohan Singh-led Cabinet during the United Progressive Alliance government from 2004-2009.

Das, son of former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Banarsi Das, was also a former Mayor of Lucknow.

He was a three-time Rajya Sabha member (twice from the Congress and once from the Bahujan Samaj Party). He was also the President of Badminton Association of India.

Das was the Secretary of the Congress Parliamentary Party under party President Sonia Gandhi from May 2003 to December 2005.

He was a General Secretary in the BSP. In November 2014, Das quit the BSP.