NEW DELHI – President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi led a host of political leaders from different parties to condole the demise of senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel Nov. 25.
Among prominent leaders who conveyed their condolences were Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury, and Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav.
“Distressed to know that veteran Congress leader Ahmed Patel is no more,” the president tweeted, adding that “an astute parliamentarian, 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,” Kovind said.
Patel, a close aide of Sonia Gandhi, passed away at 3.30 am in a Gurugram hospital following Covid-19 complications, his son Faisal Patel said in a tweet. The Congress leader had been battling the deadly virus for more than a month.
The prime minister tweeted to say that he was “saddened by the demise of Ahmed Patel ji.”
Modi said that Patel spent years in public life, serving society, and was known for his sharp mind.
“His role in strengthening the Congress will always be remembered. Spoke to his son Faisal and expressed condolences. May Ahmed Bhai’s soul rest in peace,” said the prime minister.
Shah tweeted that the news about the death of Patel was very sad.
“Ahmed Patel ji made a big contribution to the Congress and public life. I express my condolences to his family and supporters in this hour of grief. God bless the departed soul.”
Mamata Banerjee said she, too, was saddened and shocked. “He was a quiet, affable person. My condolences to his family, admirers and his colleagues,” Banerjee tweeted.
Kejriwal expressed shock and conveyed his “heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and supporters. May his soul rest in peace”.
RJD’s Tejashwi tweeted: “Deeply pained and saddened to hear about the demise of Ahmed Patel ji. Deepest condolences to his family, friends and well-wishers. May his soul rest in peace.”
Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Sitaram Yechury said he was deeply grieved by the untimely passing away of Patel, adding that “with his warm and pleasing manners he could reach out across the entire political spectrum. A big loss to Indian politics and constitutional values”.
Scores of other Congress leaders, including Kapil Sibal, Milind Deora, BK Hariprasad, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Kamal Nath and Digvijaya Singh, also expressed their grief over the death of Patel.
The Congress Nov. 25 declared a three-day mourning following the demise of Patel. The party leaders and workers in all the states and districts will hold condolence meetings.
The funeral of the septuagenarian Congress veteran will be held on Nov. 26 at 10 a.m. in his native village in Gujarat. Rahul Gandhi will be present at the funeral, along with many leading Congress leaders. The 71-year-old will be laid to rest at his native village Piraman in Bharuch district. It was Patel’s wish to be buried alongside his parents’ graves.