Eastern Times: November 25, 2020, New Delhi: Leaders from across parties condoled the death of Congress stalwart Ahmed Patel, who had friends in almost every party through his long and eventful political career.
The key Congress strategist and trouble shooter and trusted aide of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, passed away early on Wednesday morning, following post-Covid 19 complications.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and home minister Amit Shah who hail from Patel’s home state of Gujarat, condoled the death of Patel, a powerful presence in national politics for a long time.
President Ram Nath Kovind said, “Distressed to know that veteran Congress leader Ahmed Patel is no more. An astute Parliamentarian, Shri Patel combined the skills of a strategist and the charm of a mass leader. His amiability won him friends across party lines. My condolences to his family and friends,” in a tweet.
PM Modi tweeted saying, “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.”
Shah said, “The news about the death of senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel is very sad. Ahmed Patel made a significant contribution to the Congress party and public life. I express my condolences to his family and supporters in this hour of grief. May god bless the departed soul,” in a tweet in Hindi.
Union ministers Rajnath Singh, Prakash Javadekar and Nitin Gadkari expressed their grief at Patel’s demise.
Gadkari said, “Saddened to hear about the demise of veteran Congress leader Ahmed Patel Ji.
My sincere condolences to the departed soul. I pray for strength to his family members and supporters in this moment of grief. Om Shanti,” in a tweet. Singh called him a seasoned leader who made remarkable contribution to his party and public life. “Ahmed Bhai had friends across party lines. My thoughts are with his family and well-wishers in this sad hour,” he said.
BJP chief J P Nadda tweeted: “Deeply anguished to hear about the demise of veteran Congress leader Shri Ahmed Patel Ji. I pray for strength to the family members and his supporters at this hour of grief.”
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee extending her condolences to Patel’s family members and followers said, “Saddened and shocked at the passing away of Ahmed Patel. He was a quiet, affable person. My condolences to his family, admirers and his colleagues.”
Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray and NCP president Sharad Pawar condoled the demise of Patel, lauding him as a “guiding light” and hailing his contribution towards Congress.
Thackeray said, Patel played a prominent role in the formation of the Maha Vikas Aghadi comprising Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress, which formed government in Maharashtra last year.
Thackeray in a statement said, “The Congress party has lost its Chanakya in Patel’s demise, while the MVA government has lost a guiding light. I got help from his experience and guidance when the MVA government was formed.” Ahmed Patel was active not only on the political front but was also involved in several social activities, he added.
Pawar, who had worked with Patel for long, said, he was deeply saddened at the news of Patel’s demise. “His contributions to the Congress party will always be remembered. My sincere condolences to members of his family,” he said.
Karnataka chief minister B S Yediyurappa, former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda were among those who expressed their grief over Patel’s death.
Political leaders from Gujarat including Shankarsinh Vaghela condoled the death. Vaghela, an erstwhile party-mate called Patel “a leader with intelligence and perseverance.”
He tweeted: “His absence will be profoundly felt. My heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and party workers. May his Soul Rest in peace.” Vaghela quit Congress before the 2017 Gujarat assembly polls, after he and a few MLAs supporting him voted against Ahmed Patel, as Congress candidate for Rajya Sabha.