Senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP Ahmed Patel passed away Wednesday morning due to multiple organ failure, more than a month after he tested positive for Covid-19. Patel passed away at 3.30 am this morning. He was 71.
Announcing his father’s demise on Twitter, Faisal Patel said, “I regret to announce the sad and untimely demise of my father, Mr. Ahmed Patel at 25/11/2020, 3:30 AM. After testing positive for Covid-19 around a month back, his health worsened further due to multiple organ failures.”
Patel, who tested positive on October 1, was battling with Covid-19 related complications and was placed under critical care Sunday at a hospital in Gurgaon. He was one of the closest aides of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and her political adviser for a long time. Known as the party’s trouble-shooter, he had steered the Congress out of difficult situations many a time.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled Patel’s demise saying his role in strengthening the Congress party would always be remembered.
“Saddened by the demise of Ahmed Patel Ji. 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 tweeted.
Sonia Gandhi said she lost a faithful colleague. “In Sh. 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. I have lost an irreplaceable comrade, a faithful colleague and a friend. I mourn his passing and I feel deeply for his bereaved family to whom I offer my sincere feelings of empathy and support,” she said.
Calling Patel a tremendous asset and a pillar of his party, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said, “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. We will miss him. My love and condolences to Faisal, Mumtaz & the family.”
Other Congress leaders including Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Randeep Singh Surjewala and Abhishek Manu Singhvi also took to Twitter to condole his death.
Priyanka Gandhi tweeted: “Ahmed ji was not only a wise and experienced colleague to whom I constantly turned for advice and counsel, he was a friend who stood by us all, steadfast, loyal, and dependable to the end. His passing away leaves an immense void. May his soul rest in peace.”
Singhvi, in a series of tweets, said, “Shocked to hear of demise of Ahmed Patel. Had been talking to his son Faisal almost daily. My impression was AP was on the mend. Terrible news. May his soul #RIP. #OmShanti.”
Calling his demise a huge loss for the Congress, Singhvi tweeted: “Ahmed Patel was one of the most unflappable, sharpest, focused political minds I have encountered. He had an unmatched talent to cut to the chase & his memory recall, connecting names & people to events for the job on hand was unprecedented. Huge loss for Congress.”
He further said, “Had talked to #AP several times initially during illness. AP wld seek my advice as a #COVID senior!During #Bihar, he said he had done several virtual meetings &I admonished him since he had just returned from faridabad hosp. I Also queried #feisal re late adm 2medanta.”
“Interacted & worked on several issues with #AP over 20 long years. Always calm &rock steady, he was a solutions man. No frills person, he wld cut 2core of problem, speak least &yet guide the discussion 2a concrete solution. His political instincts, intuition &experience unmatched,” Singhvi said in another tweet.
He further said that Covid-19 claimed two precious lives recently — Patel and Tarun Gogoi. “Covid has been victorious qua two young #congressmen who were cong secretaries around same time &came to #rajivgandhi notice & later his inner circle in the 80s : TarunGogoi & AhmedPatel COVID is claiming precious lives right, left & centre. Initial vigilance is paramount.”
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.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines