In yet another loss for the Congress in the State, the party’s MLA from Rajabala constituency, Azad Zaman passed away due to cardiac arrest at his home early today morning.
According to family members, Zaman (47) died at around 2:15 am.
Of late, the Congress MLA had been campaigning for the party ahead of the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council (GHADC) elections, which are scheduled to be held in April.
Family members say Zaman was recently under stress after his younger brother was denied a Congress ticket to contest the Balachanda GHADC seat.
“He had been to Chennai recently for a medical checkup where all his vitals were normal. However, the failure to get his brother a ticket had put tremendous pressure on him. While that may not be the only factor, it was one of the reasons for him being stressed,” said the family source.
News of his unexpected death led thousands of people to pay their last respects to the young politician at his family home. His funeral procession, which was attended by thousands, began at 6pm.
The 47-year-old won the 2018 State election by beating former MLA, Ashahel D. Shira. Zaman had unsuccessfully contested the 2013 polls as an independent, coming second to Shira.
Tributes were paid to the deceased by his colleagues. On social media Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma said that he was “shocked and deeply saddened by the sudden demise” of Zaman. He described him as a “dynamic and young leader” of the plains belt who worked tirelessly for the people.
Speaker of the Assembly, Metbah Lyngdoh, also expressed his sadness.
In a release Lyngdoh said that Zaman had “enriched the house with his vast knowledge and experience”.