Former Odisha Health Minister Syed Mustafiz Ahmed (76) passed away today following a prolonged illness.
Ahmed, who was undergoing treatment for the last couple of months, breathed his last at a private hospital in Cuttack, family sources said.
A popular leader, Ahmed had served as health minister between 1990 and 1995 when Biju Patnaik was the chief minister.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik condoled his death and said that the state has lost an able organiser and social worker. He had played a significant role for the development of Cuttack.
Patnaik described Ahmed as a simple man who stood by the prople through thick and thin.
Senior BJD leader and MP Baijayant Panda also expressed grief over the demise of Ahmed. "Saddened to hear the passing away of Mustafiz Ahmed, former MLA from Cuttack & Minister, who had been ailing," he said in a Twitter post.
A number of leaders and people from different sections mourned the demise of Ahmed.