Cuttack: Former Minister and popular Muslim leader of Cuttack city Syed Mustafiz Ahmed passed away while undergoing treatment at a private hospital here on Monday. He was 77 and ailing for past several months. He is survived by his wife and a son.
Beginning his political career as a Councillor of the Cuttack Municipality and later becoming its Vice-Chairman, Ahmed was first elected to the State Assembly from the city constituency as a Janata Dal candidate in 1985.
After retaining his seat in 1990, he was made a Minister in the Biju Patnaik Ministry. Initially in charge of Textiles and Industries, he was elevated to the Cabinet rank and was given the charge of Health and Family Welfare.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Union Ministers Dharmendra Pradhan and Jual Oram, among many other leaders, expressed their deep condolences to the family of Ahmed, describing him as a gifted organiser, an able administrator and, above all, a sincere social worker, who had donated blood for over a hundred times.
Though a minority community leader, Ahmed was also very popular among other communities in the city for his amiable and sociable behaviour.