Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Sunday became the interim head of the Badminton Association of India, PTI reported. The post was earlier held by Congress leader Akhilesh Das Gupta who died on April 12.

“We are very happy to announce that Himanta Biswa Sarma has been unanimously given the charge to become the acting president till the next elections in 2018. It was a consensual decision. Everyone realises that badminton has to move forward and it will be best served by him,” Anup Narang, general secretary of the association and official spokesperson, told the news agency.

After Das Gupta’s death, an executive council meeting was called and Sarma was appointed as the interim president. “He was invited to attend the meeting as a special guest and then he was inducted as a senior vice-president of the association to clear him for the post,” an official said. Sarma also heads the Assam Badminton Association.

The 56-year-old Das Gupta, the son of former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Banarasi Das Gupta, was a former national level badminton player. He was a three-time Rajya Sabha member and the minister of steel in the Manmohan Singh government between 2004 and 2009.