Kolkata: Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Sultan Ahmed, was only 64, when he suffered from a massive cardiac arrest on Monday morning. The MP from Ulberia, was getting ready to meet one of his ailing professor, when his family discovered that he had suffered from an attack. Rushed to the Belle Vue Nursing Home, he was declared “brought dead”.
Sultan Ahmed, twice MLA and MP, had donned many role in his active political career and social life. He was Minister of State (MoS) Tourism in center, and Member of Personal Law Board and president of Mohammadan Sporting Club.
Perhaps the only low that hit the Ahmed’s career projectile was the Narada Sting case, where he was accused of taking a bribe of Rs 1.5 lakh, which he claimed was a donation, which was spent on party work.
Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who first tweeted about the demise of senior leader, later alleged that Ahmed was in “extreme stress” because BJP led government’s central agencies was trying to defame him. “I got information that when his body was being taken, a CBI notice was served. It was not an age to die,” The Telegraph newspaper quoted Bengal Chief Minister.
The rise of Sultan, a prominent face, in Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s government, indeed is a tale of the proverbial “rags to riches”.
Born to a middle class family, on 19 Ripon Street, Ahmed, carved a political career for himself, that many would have only dreamt of. Initially a student of Hasan Balki Night School, Sultan, got enrolled at the Madarsah Aliah, from where he did his schooling.
Contrary, to many, who believe that he began his political career as a college student union leader of Congress Chatra Parishad of Maulana Azad College, it was CPI leader, Abdul Ghani who introduced him to politics. It was only, much later that he was taken in to the folds of Congress, by his political mentor Abdul Rauf Ansari.
Under his tutelage, Sultan, a soft spoken, sauve, young blood, kept growing. Soon, his speeches got noticed. Even his rivals, remember him as a gentleman, who never failed to help those who came to seek his help. “I was a good friend of his. He was a man of principles and good nature. It’s difficult to believe that he is no more,” said West Bengal Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Bose.
In 1985, he won his first election from ward 61, to become its councillor, and since then, there was no looking back for him. Being the first political leader from the area, residents of area in and around Ripon Street, voted for him with an open heart, and in return, he till the day he died never turned down a needy reaching out to to him for help. At the peak of his political career, Sultan served as the Union Minister of State for Tourism, in the Manmohan Singh led UPA government.
His business chamber at Park Circus, was often jam packed with the needy. Even, when the parliament in session, for those who knew him well, were well aware, of him travelling back to Kolkata on Fridays and staying over for the weekends meeting people and resolving their issues.
The 30, 000 odd crowd, waiting outside his residence, was an evidence of the love he used to get from people of Bengal.