Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel died in early hours of Wednesday due to multiple organ failures after he tested positive for COVID19 last month. He was 71.
His son Faisal Patel announced in a tweet that the veteran Congress leader breathed his last at 3.30 am on Wednesday.
Popularly known as ‘AP’ in political circles, Ahmed Patel has been the captain for Congress’s crisis management team for decades.
— Faisal Patel (@mfaisalpatel) November 24, 2020
Also known as ‘Babu bhai’ and ‘Ahmed Bhai’, he represented Gujarat eight times in the Parliament – three times as a Lok Sabha member and five times as a Rajya Sabha member.
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.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) November 25, 2020
As the key trouble shooter for the Congress, he was very close to the Gandhi family, and also served as political secretary to Congress president Sonia Gandhi from 2001 to 2017.
In a message, Sonia Gandhi said she had 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,” Sonia Gandhi said.
Patel had played an important role during the 10 years of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government but always maintained a low profile.
Since April 1992, he was a member of the powerful Congress Working Committee (CWC), the highest decision-making body of the Congress.
Ahmed Patel also served as the parliamentary secretary to former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1985-86.
He was Gujarat Congress president from January 1986 to October 1988, and was AICC general secretary twice from September 1985 to January 1986 and from May 1992 to October 1996.