Ahmed Patel
Ahmed PatelIANS (File photo)

Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel passes away

New Delhi, November 25, 2020

Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel, who wielded enormous influence within the party and was one of its main troubleshooters in all crises, passed away today of complications arising out of coronavirus (COVID-19).

He was 71. He is survived by his wife Memoona, son Faisal Patel and daughter Mumtaz Patel Siddiqui.

"With profound grief and sorrow, I regret to announce the sad and untimely demise of my father, Mr Ahmed Patel," Faisal and Mumtaz said on Twitter.

Patel, who was admitted to the ICU at the Medanta Hospital in Gurugram near here some days ago after developing complications, breathed his last at 3.30 am today.

"After testing positive for COVID-19 around a month back, his health worsened due to multiple organ failures.

"I request all well-wishers to adhere to COVID-19 law and order regulations by avoiding any mass gatherings and to also maintain social distancing norms at all times," Faisal and Mumtaz added.

One of the most influential politicians in national politics for the last few decades, Patel was Political Secretary to Congress President Sonia Gandhi and her most trusted aide. He was also Treasurer of the party, a position he had held earlier, too.

He served three terms as a member of the Lok Sabha, representing Bharuch in Gujarat, and five terms as a member of the Rajya Sabha from Gujarat.

Despite wielding tremendous clout within and outside the party, Patel was one of those rare politicians who never served as a Minister in the government, preferring to remain in the wings at all times and avoided media glare.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was saddened by the demise of Patel.

"He spent years in public life, serving society. Known for his sharp mind, his role in strengthening the Congress Party would always be remembered. Spoke to his son Faisal and expressed condolences. May Ahmed Bhai’s soul rest in peace," Modi said on Twitter.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi said she had 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.

"It is a sad day. Shri Ahmed Patel was a pillar of the Congress party. He lived and breathed Congress and stood with the party through its most difficult times. He was a tremendous asset," former Congress President Rahul Gandhi said.

"We will miss him. My love and condolences to Faisal, Mumtaz & the family," he added.

Born on August 21, 1949, Patel studied at the Shree Jayendra Puri Arts and Science College in Bharuch and took a degree in Science from the South Gujarat University.

Patel was elected as a member of the sixth Lok Sabha from Bharuch in March 1977.

He was the president of the Gujarat Pradesh Youth Congress Committee from 1980-84.

In 1980, he was re-elected to the Lok Sabha for a second term and then won a third term in 1985.

Patel came into prominence when he was chosen by then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi as one of his three Parliamentary Secretaries in 1985-86.


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