NEW DELHI—Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel, one of the closest aides of Sonia Gandhi breathed his last at 3.30 am today in Medanta Hospital in Gurgaon where he was undergoing treatment for Covid-19. He was 71.
He will be buried in the graveyard of his village, Piraman, in Bharuch district of Gujarat, at 4 pm today.
The news of his death was broken by his son Faisal Patel through a tweet.
“With profound grief and sorrow, 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. May Allah grant him Jannatul Firdaus”, Faisal tweeted.
Hailing from Piraman village of Bharuch district in Gujarat, Patel had won three Lok Sabha elections between 1977 & 1989 and was Rajya Sabha member for five terms since 1993. He was fondly called “Ahmed bhai” by party leaders and workers.
Considered to be Sonia Gandhi’s chief strategist, Patel maintained low profile and avoided publicity. He was served as Parliamentary Secretary to former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1985.
Messages of condolence began pouring in after the news of his death was circulated on Social media. Congress chief Sonia Gandhi said she had lost an “irreplaceable comrade, a faithful colleague and a friend”. Whose entire life was dedicated to the Congress Party”.
In his condolence message, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he talked to his son Faisal and expressed condolences. “Known for his sharp mind, his role in strengthening the Congress Party would always be remembered”, PM said.
Rahul Gandhi called him 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 and the family”, Rahul tweeted.
Welfare Party of India president Dr. SQR Ilyas, in his condolence message, said that the demise of Ahmad Patel “is a great loss to the Congress Party and to the secular polity in India”.
All India Muslim Majlis Mushawarat (AIMMM) president Navaid Hamid, in his condolence message, said he was shocked by the death of the veteran leader. “it is personal loss to me”, he said.