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Veteran Congress leader and former union minister Rasheed Masood passes away

Rasheed Masood left for his heavenly abode at 10.40 am on Monday, said Imran Masood, his nephew and Congress leader.

Swati Sharma | Meerut |

Veteran Congress leader and former Union Minister Hazi Rasheed Masood (73) passed away on Monday morning at a private hospital in Roorkee. His burial would be performed at his paternal town Gangoh in Saharanpur district.

Rasheed Masood left for his heavenly abode at 10.40 am on Monday, said Imran Masood, his nephew and Congress leader. He was tested positive for Corona on August 27 after which he was admitted to Apollo Hospital in Delhi. He had recovered and was discharged from there.

But on Saturday he suddenly developed some problem in throat after which he was admitted to a hospital in Roorkee where he suffered multiple organ failure, said Imran adding that his ‘supurd -e-khaak’ (burial) would be performed on Monday.

Rasheed Masood was born on 15 August 1947, the day India became independent of British rule. He is survived by his wife, a son and a daughter.

He had been a Member of Parliament nine times from different political parties viz Janta Dal, Lok Dal, Janata Party, Rashtriya Lok Dal, Samajwadi Party and Congress and had a mass following in Saharanpur. The news of his death came as a shock to his supporters who started gathering at his residence in Gangoh.

In his long political voyage, Rasheed Masood had joined many political parties but his support base in public remained intact. He contested the first election of his life from Nakur Vidhan Sabha of Saharanpur in 1974 and lost. But in 1977 he won the parliamentary election on a Janata Party ticket from Saharanpur seat.

He then parted ways from the Janata Party and joined the Lok Dal and again became an MP in 1980. However, in 1986 he was sent to Rajya Sabha from Lok Dal. In 1989 he won the Lok Sabha election while contesting on a Janata Dal ticket and was made Minister of State for Health.

He later joined Samajwadi Party and won the 2004 Lok Sabha election after facing defeats in 1996, 1997 and 1999. He could not retain the Saharanpur seat in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections.

In December 2011 he resigned from Rajya Sabha, left Samajwadi Party and joined Congress. He was sent to Rajya Sabha and made chairman of APEDA in 2013 for a term of three years. He was elected a member of the Congress Working Committee.

Rasheed Masood was also the candidate of United National Progressive Alliance in the election of the Vice-President of India in 2007 in which he finished third. He was also jailed for four years in the MBBS seat scam after which he had to leave his Rajya Sabha seat in 2013.