E Ahamed, the national president of Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), who passed away early today, had not only acquired an image of an able Parliamentarian and administrator but was also considered India’s ‘unofficial ambassador’ in the Gulf countries due to his proximity with leaders in that region.
78-year-old Ahamed had served the UPA government led by Manmohan Singh from 2004-12 as Minister of State for External Affairs and Railways besides holding the additional charge of the Ministry of Human Resource Development.
Ahamed, a widely travelled politician, had represented India in United Nations 10 times. He was also an active member of the Union government’s Haj Committee and also co-chairman for the high-level monitoring mechanism of India and Qatar in 2011.
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In 1984, he was sent to GCC countries as an Emissary of the then Prime Minister late Indira Gandhi.
Ahamed had started his political innings in Kerala with five stints as member of state assembly and proved his administrative capabilities as Industries Minister in 1982.
It was during his tenure that a new Industrial culture took shape in the state with the setting up of KELTRON.
Ahamed gave a national face to IUML, a partner in the Congress-led UDF coalition.
Born to Abdul Khader Haji and Nasifa Beevi in 1938, he had his early education in Tana in Kannur district. He graduated from the Brennen College, Thalassery and earned a law degree from Thiruvananthapuram Law college.
For a short period, he practised in a court in Thalassery and Kerala High Court.
A student leader and founder general secretary of the Muslim Students Federation, Ahamed was first elected as MLA in 1967 and was member of the house in 1977, 1980, 1982 and 1987.
In 1991, he shifted his political arena to Delhi and became Lok Sabha member from Manjeri in Malappuram district and went on to win from the same constituency in 1996, 1998, and 1999.
In 2004 polls, Ahamed’s victory was the saving grace for Congress-led UDF as all other 19 seats were won by CPI(M) led LDF.
In the 2014 elections, Ahamed had won by the largest margin of over one lakh votes.
The senior leader had also tried his hand as a journalist — both as Sub editor and Reporter of the party newspaper ‘Chandrika’ and played a vital role in the growth of the newspaper. Ahamed also had four books in English and Malayalam as author to his credit. A widower, Ahamed is survived by two sons and a daughter.