Senior politicians from Gujarat, including Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, on Wednesday condoled the death of Congress Rajya Sabha member Ahmed Patel, and praised him for his intelligence and perseverance as well as his role in strengthening the Congress party.
Mr Patel (71), the Congress's top strategist, died at a Gurgaon hospital early Wednesday morning. He was suffering from complications related to COVID-19.
Mr Rupani in a tweet said he was saddened by the death of the senior Congress leader.
"His role in strengthening the Congress party and his social work will always be remembered. I pray to God to give peace to his soul and strength to his family members to endure this suffering," the BJP leader tweeted.
Former Gujarat chief minister Shankersinh Vaghela, who quit the Congress in 2017, called Mr Patel "a leader with intelligence and perseverance".
"His absence will be profoundly felt. My heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and party workers. May his Soul Rest in peace," he tweeted.
Mr Vaghela had left the Congress before the 2017 Gujarat Assembly polls, after he and a few MLAs supporting him voted against Ahmed Patel, the then Congress candidate for the Rajya Sabha election, and backed BJP nominee Balwantsinh Rajput.
Gujarat Congress president Amit Chavda said he was saddened beyond words by Mr Patel's demise.
"It's a great loss to @INCIndia, Gujarat, the nation, & me personally. His contribution to the party will always be remembered. My deepest condolences to his family in this hour of grief. May his soul rest in peace," Mr Chavda tweeted.
Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee working president Hardik Patel described Ahmed Patel as the guide for youth like him.
"I pray to God for the peace of his departed soul. Ahmedbhai helped me become strong socially, politically and ideologically. Ahmedbhai was sympathetic to the people of Gujarat," he tweeted.