- "Saddened by the demise of Ahmed Patel Ji," PM Modi tweeted
- "Spoke to his son Faisal and expressed condolences," he added
- Ahmed Patel had tested positive for coronavirus on October 1
Congress veteran Ahmed Patel, Sonia Gandhi's closest aide and party's top troubleshooter, died at a Gurgaon hospital this morning. He was 71. Amid outpouring of tributes, Prime Minister Narendra Modi remembered the seasoned politician and said "his role in strengthening the Congress Party would always be remembered".
"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," PM Modi tweeted.
In a statement, Ahmed Patel's son said he died at the Medanta hospital in Gurgaon at 3:30 am. "I regret to announce the untimely demise of my father. After testing positive for COVID-19 around a month back, his health worsened further due to multiple organ failures," Faisal Patel said.
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
"May Allah grant him Jannatul firdaus, inshallah. I request all well wishers to ahdere to Covid-19 law & order regulations by avoiding any mass gatherings and to also maintain social distancing norms at all times," he added.
A staunch Nehru-Gandhi loyalist, he was paid rich tributes by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, who said she "lost a colleague whose entire life was dedicated" to the party, and son Rahul Gandhi.
Mr Patel was a Rajya Sabha MP from Gujarat. In his tribute, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu remembered him as "an able parliamentarian" who "always maintained cordial relations with leaders across the political spectrum".
Deeply saddened to learn about the passing away of Rajya Sabha MP, Shri Ahmed Patel. He was an able parliamentarian and always maintained cordial relations with leaders across the political spectrum. My condolences to the bereaved family members. May his soul rest in peace. pic.twitter.com/9HTNA1vLlr— Vice President of India (@VPSecretariat) November 25, 2020
Mr Patel had tested positive for the highly infectious coronavirus on October 1, and was admitted to the intensive care unit of the Gurgaon hospital on November 15.
Political leaders across party lines tweeted condolences. "Saddened by the demise of senior Congress Leader and MP, Shri Ahmed Patel ji. He was 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," Defence Minister Rajnath Singh wrote.
Congress ally and NCP chief Sharad Pawar and ex-Uttar Pradesh chief minister and Samajwadi Party's Akhilesh Yadav also paid tributes.
Deeply saddened to know about the demise of veteren congress leader Shri Ahmed Patel. His contribution to @INCIndia will always be remembered.— Sharad Pawar (@PawarSpeaks) November 25, 2020
My sincere condolences to members of his family.
I am saddened to hear about the passing of Ahmed Patel Ji. My deepest sympathies are with his family at this difficult time.— Akhilesh Yadav (@yadavakhilesh) November 25, 2020
Senior Congress leaders also expressed shock and grief on social media.
Deeply shocked and saddened to learn that my dear friend Ahmed Patel passed away in the early hours of today— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) November 25, 2020
I offer my tribute to his memory and convey my sincere and heartfelt condolences to the members of the bereaved family.— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) November 25, 2020
May Ahmedji rest in eternal peace
A terribly sad day. My tributes to Ahmed Patel. pic.twitter.com/dvXKDirghr— Jairam Ramesh (@Jairam_Ramesh) November 25, 2020
My heartfelt condolences to his family members, friends & supporters in this most difficult time. May God give them strength to bear this loss. May his soul rest in peace.— Ashok Gehlot (@ashokgehlot51) November 25, 2020
Mr Patel, son of a social worker, had a long and illustrious political career of more than four decades. He represented Gujarat eight times in parliament - thrice as a Lok Sabha member and five times from the Rajya Sabha.