New Delhi, April 12 (IANS) The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has condoled the death of Badminton Association of India (BAI) chief 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 on Wednesday.
"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," the statement added.
During Das Gupta's time at the helm of the BAI, Indian shuttlers performed well at the international level, winning medals at the London Olympics in 2012 and the 2016 Rio Olympics.
"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," IOA Secretary General Rajeev Mehta said.
"Das 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.
Son of former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Banarasi Das Gupta, he was admitted to the Lari Cardiology Centre after he complained of distress, a family member told IANS.
Das Gupta was the Minister of State for Steel in the Manmohan Singh-led government in 2004-09. He was also a former Mayor of Lucknow.
Das Gupta was a three-time Rajya Sabha member -- twice from the Congress and once from the Bahujan Samaj Party.