He passed away at the Lilavati Hospital in Bandra, where he was admitted for treatment of cancer last week, said his son Syed Zeeshan Ahmed. A former Congress leader and Maharashtra minister, Syed Ahmed was sworn-in as governor of the northeastern state of Manipur on May 16 this year.

Prior to that, he was governor of Jharkhand since September 2011. Syed Ahmed was elected to the Maharashtra legislative assembly five times on Congress tickets from the Nagpada constituency in south Mumbai and later served as a minister in two governments, handling various portfolios.

In a condolence message to Ahmed's wife Syed Hasan Tara, President Pranab Mukherjee said, "I am sad to learn about the passing away of Dr. Syed Ahmed. He served the nation with distinction in different capacities during his public life." President Mukherjee said Ahmed's services to the nation as the governor of Jharkhand and Manipur would always be remembered.

Vice President Hamid Ansari in a message said Syed Ahmed was 'a leading figure of Maharashtra's political firmament and his departure leaves a large void'. "A humanist, he was dedicated to working for the uplift of the weakest sections of the society. In his capacity as the minister for housing, slum improvement, house repairs and reconstructions in the state government, he worked to address the issues facing the homeless and the slum dwellers in Maharashtra," he said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also condoled the death, saying Syed Ahmed was “an experienced leader who held many positions in his long political career. Saddened by his demise. Rest in Peace.”

Latest News from State News Desk