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Ahmed Patel passes away: Narendra Modi, Sonia Gandhi, Venkaiah Naidu and others pay tribute

FP Staff
·8 min read

Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel passed away in the early hours of Wednesday while undergoing treatment at a Gurugram hospital after testing positive for COVID-19.

The 71-year-old leader died at 3.30 am after suffering from multiple organ failure, 10 days after he was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit of Medanta Hospital in Gurugram. The Rajya Sabha MP had tested positive for COVID-19 on 1 October.

His son Faisal Patel shared the news through a tweet and requested all well-wishers to adhere to the COVID-19 regulations by avoiding mass gatherings.

President Ram Nath Kovind said Patel "combined the skills of a strategist and the charm of a mass leader".

Congress president Sonia Gandhi said she lost an "irreplaceable comrade, faithful colleague and friend". "In Ahmed Patel, I have lost a colleague whose entire life was dedicated to the Congress Party. His faithfulness and dedication, his commitment to his duty, his always being there to help, his generosity were rare qualities that distinguished him from others," wrote Sonia Gandhi.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi remembered the leader's role in strengthening of the Congress party, while Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu hailed his ability to "maintain cordial relations with leaders across the political spectrum".

Rahul Gandhi mourned the loss of a "tremendous asset, while Priyanka Gandhi Vadra remembered constantly "turning to him for advice".

Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said in a tweet in Hindi that Patel always considered the party as his family and served with loyalty, leaving a mark on the hearts of leaders across political lines. Meanwhile, party leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi remembered "one of the most unflappable, sharpest, focused political minds" whom he had worked with for 20 years.

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanaswamy also paid rich tributes to the departed Congress leader.

Leaders across Congress ranks paid rich tribute to the Rajya Sabha MP, with Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot, Maharashtra minister Amit Deshmukh and party leaders Manish Tewari, Karti P Chidambaram, Ramesh Chennithala and Sushmita Dev expressing shock over Patel's death.

The Congress treasurer was Lok Sabha MP for three terms from 1977 to 1989 and Rajya Sabha MP since 1993 representing Gujarat. Patel also served as the political secretary to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and was one of the party's top negotiators during the UPA regime.

He breathed his last two days after another senior Congress leader and the longest serving chief minister of Assam, Tarun Gogoi, passed away on Monday due to a prolonged illness.

Also See: Ahmed Patel dies at 71: Five-time Rajya Sabha MP was Congress' organisation man, Gandhi family loyalist

Salman Khurshid says no leadership crisis in Congress, support for Sonia, Rahul is apparent to 'anyone not blind'

Dissent in Congress: As disgruntlement resurfaces, time for party to move forward; mere introspection is not enough

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