Thiruvanthapuram, Feb 1: Senior Kerala MP E. Ahamed, who died on Wednesday, was a rare Indian politician who enjoyed wide persol contacts in the Middle East and used them well when he was a central minister. The Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) leader was also a respected parliamentarian and played a major role in building his party’s ties with the Congress in Kerala.
Ahamed, a former Minister of State for Exterl Affairs, collapsed in Parliament on Tuesday after a heart attack. He was declared dead on Wednesday. He is survived by a daughter and two sons. His wife died in a car accident in 1999.
And unknown to many, the soft-spoken Ahamed played a role in improving India’s ties with the Arab world. The 78-year-old was regularly elected to the Lok Sabha since 1991. The IUML is the second biggest group in the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) in Kerala.
A law graduate, Ahamed, who entered politics as a student, was first elected to the Kerala assembly in 1967 and had an uninterrupted stint till 1991 when he contested a Lok Sabha seat.
He became the tiol President of the IUML on account of his vast experience in Delhi politics. It was during his stint as Industries Minister from 1982 to 1987 that Kerala saw the first signs of a boost on the industrial front.
He was instrumental in tapping the resources of the cash-rich non-resident Keralites. Today, deposits by non-resident Keralites in banks are estimated at Rs 1.30 lakh crore. Ahamed led Indian delegations to the UN 10 times — from 1991 to 2014. He was the only UDF candidate to be elected to the Lok Sabha in 2004, all the other 19 seats going to the Left Democratic Front. (IANS)