Ex-minister Akhilesh Das rejoins Congress

New Delhi, Jan 31 (IANS) Former Union minister Akhilesh Das, who had joined the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), on Tuesday rejoined the Congress ahead of the assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh.

Das was Minister of State for Steel in the Manmohan Singh Cabinet during the United Progressive Alliance government during its first term from 2004-2009.

“We welcome back former Steel Minister Akhilesh Das. His family has always been with the Congress and aligned to its ideology.

“He will help bring the business community, in the wake of the hardships faced due to demonetisation, back to the Congress fold,” said Congress General Secretary in charge of Uttar Pradesh, Ghulam Nabi Azad.

Das, son of former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Banarsi Das, has also been a former Mayor of Lucknow. He was a three-time Rajya Sabha member (twice from the Congress and once from the BSP).

He was also the Secretary of the Congress Parliamentary Party under Congress President Sonia Gandhi from May 2003 to December 2005. He was a General Secretary in the BSP. In November 2014, Das quit the BSP.