New Delhi [India], Apr. 12 (ANI): The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has condoled the sudden demise of Badminton Association of India (BAI) President Akhilesh Das Gupta.
Das Gupta died in Lucknow on Wednesday after suffering a cardiac arrest, according to his family. He was 56.
"The Indian Olympic Association suffered a huge loss in terms of Akhilesh Das Gupta who passed away today due to heart attack. He was servicing as the Vice President of the Indian Olympic Association and was also the President of Badminton Association of India," the IOA said in a statement.
"He was also the President of Uttar Pradesh Olympic Association. He contributed a lot to the sport of Badminton while serving as the Chairman of the Premier Badminton League, the Vice President of the Badminton Asia Confederation, and was also part of the Executive Council of Badminton World Federation," it added.
Speaking on the demise, Rajeev Mehta, Secretary General, IOA, said, "It is an extremely saddening day for us. On behalf of IOA family I send out my condolences to his family; may God be with them during this extremely difficult time."
"Dr. Gupta was a man of huge caliber, his contribution to the sport of Badminton has been commendable. While serving as the Vice President of the IOA, he contributed towards the growth of sports in our country," he added.
Former union minister and Congress leader Akhilesh was the son of freedom fighter late Babu Banarasi Das, who also served as the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh.
Das, who was the Mayor of Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) from May 1993- November 1996, contributed extensively in the development of the city.
He held the country's most prestigious office as 'Member of Parliament' (Rajya Sabha) for 18 years serving three consecutive terms of six years each from November 1996 to November 2014.
He held the office of the Minister for Steel from January 2006 till May 2008 under Dr Manmohan Singh Government during UPA-I regime.
He actively served as the secretary of Congress Parliamentary Party between 2003 to 2006 under the chairmanship of Sonia Gandhi.
He served as the chairman of the Organizational Election Authority for the Congress in Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry, and successfully conducted the grass-root level organizational elections of the party in the year 2004-05.
As a national-level badminton player, Gupta had represented Uttar Pradesh and the country in various International Badminton Tournaments. (ANI)