DEHRADUN: Uttarakhand Minister Surendra Rakesh died at a Gurgaon hospital this morning after battling with cancer for over a year.
Admitted to the hospital since October 14 last year, 48-year-old Rakesh breathed his last at 9.30 AM, his principal private secretary K K Madan said.
Rakesh is survived by wife, a son and a daughter. The BSP MLA from Bhagwanpur constituency in Haridwar district was Transport and Social Welfare Minister in Harish Rawat's cabinet.
The minister, who was part of the seven-member PDF supporting the Congress government in the state, was found to be suffering with lung cancer in July, 2013, Madan said.
Rakesh's body is being brought to Bhagwanpur where his cremation will take place, he said. As the news of the young minister's untimely demise came in, Chief Minister Harish Rawat expressed his condolences and cancelled all his official engagements scheduled for the day including a meeting of the state cabinet.
A three-day state mourning has been declared in Uttarakhand following the minister's death, the Chief Minister's media in-charge Surendra Kumar said.
Rawat will himself receive the Minister's body which is being brought to Bhagwanpur for cremation, he said.