Top Congress leaders, including former party president Rahul Gandhi, were among those who attended the burial of party veteran Ahmed Patel at his native Piraman village at Ankleshwar in Gujarat’s Bharuch district Thursday morning.
The body of Patel, who died of multiple organ failure post-Covid on Wednesday at Gurgaon hospital, was flown to Vadodara on a chartered flight. From the airport, the body was taken to the Ankleshwar-based Sardar Patel Hospital and Heart Institute which he helped set up.
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath and Congress general secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala were present at the burial. So were Rajya Sabha MP Shaktisinh Gohil, Gujarat Congress president Amit Chavda, Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Paresh Dhanani, party leaders Arjun Modhwadia, Siddharth Patel, Madhusudan Mistry, Hardik Patel and Independent MLA Jignesh Mevani. Former Congress leader Shankersinh Vaghela was also present.
Tight security had been deployed in the village, especially near Patel’s residence. Seating arrangements for the VVIPs were made at the parking area of HMP health care centre, a few steps from the Congress veteran’s residence.
Around 11 am, Rahul arrived and met Patel’s son Faisal, daughter Mumtaz Siddiqui and his three sisters.
The pall was lifted by youths dressed in PPEs. The body was then taken near Patel’s residence for family members and relatives to pay their last respects.
From there, the body was taken to an open field near the burial ground where many offered namaz-e-janaza.
Leader of Opposition Dhanani said, “Not only Gujarat, but our country has lost such a dynamic person whose human nature and behaviour attracted many young political leaders. The pandemic has taken the life of a great person and left many young leaders without a mentor.”
“He had identified many sons of farmers from different corners of the country and groomed them into national leaders. We wish his soul rests in peace.”
Late on Thursday afternoon, Patel’s son Faisal said in a video message, “I am thankful to all the well wishers of Ahmed Patelji, our father. We must remember Ahmed Patelji, a fine example of morals, ethics, values and culture. He was a gentleman, a gentle soul, and we miss him immensely.”
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