Former union minister and senior Trinamool Congress leader Ajit Panja died of cancer at a private hospital in Kolkata early Friday morning.
He was 72 and is survived by his son and daughter.
Hospital sources said that Panja, who was admitted on October 26, breathed his last at 4.30 am.
A six-time MP, Panja was a minister in the governments of Rajiv Gandhi, P V Narasimha Rao and Atal Bihari Vajpayee at the Centre and held key portfolios including information and broadcasting.
Prior to that he was minister in the West Bengal government in 1971 and 1972-77.