Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel, one of Sonia Gandhi's closest political advisers, died at a Gurgaon hospital this morning. He was 71. Prime Minister Narendra Modi remembered the seasoned politician, saying "his role in strengthening the Congress Party would always be remembered". Top Congress leader Rahul Gandhi called Mr Patel a "pillar of the Congress party". Mr Patel's body will be taken to his hometown in Gujarat's Bharuch where his last rites will be performed tomorrow. The body will be flown to Gujarat in a chartered flight today. His last wishes were that he be buried next to his parents in his hometown.