Former Union minister and Samajwadi Party founding member Beni Prasad Verma died in Lucknow on Friday. He was 79.
The Rajya Sabha member was not keeping well for the past few days and was admitted to a private hospital in Lucknow, where he died around 7 pm, his son Rakesh Verma said.
Verma was the telecom minister between 1996-1998 in then prime minister H D Deve Gowda's cabinet and the steel minister in the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance-II government.
Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav reached the hospital and condoled his death. Verma is survived by three sons and two daughters.
The former Union minister's association with SP leader Mulayam Singh Yadav spans over four decades.
In the 2007 Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, Verma had floated his own political party, which failed to open its account. In 2009, Verma formally joined the Congress and contested the Lok Sabha election from the Gonda seat, but lost.
The Kurmi leader quit the Congress and in 2016, rejoined the Samajwadi Party, which sent him to the Rajya Sabha.
Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandi Ben Patel, Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party leader Shivpal Yadav and Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra condoled the leader's death.