He is also said to have played a significant role in stitching an unlikely alliance between the Shiv Sena, the Congress and NCP that resulted in the current coalition government in Maharashtra
NEW DELHI — Ahmed Patel, a senior Congress politician known as a trouble-shooter in his party for his smart skills in resolving crises within the party and stitching alliances, passed away on Wednesday at a private hospital near Delhi.
He was 71.
His son Faisal Patel confirmed the news of his death on Twitter. He said the cause of the death was multiple-organ failure a month after he tested positive for coronavirus.
As the news of the Congress leader’s demise went out, condolences began pouring in from politicians across the divide.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi termed him a “pillar of the Congress party” who “lived and breathed Congress”.
It is a sad day. Shri Ahmed Patel was a pillar of the Congress party. He lived and breathed Congress and stood with the party through its most difficult times. He was a tremendous asset.
We will miss him. My love and condolences to Faisal, Mumtaz & the family. pic.twitter.com/sZaOXOIMEX
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) November 25, 2020
In a tweet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi described Patel as “a sharp mind” whose role in strengthening Congress will 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.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) November 25, 2020
President Ramnath Kovind while offering his condolences to the family said that Patel was an “astute Parliamentarian”. “His amiability won him friends across party lines.”
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.
— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) November 25, 2020
Congress president Sonia Gandhi issued a statement to the media saying she had lost an “irreplaceable comrade”. He was considered to be close Sonia Gandhi and party leaders and ministers would approach him to take their word to Gandhi.
Congress President Smt Sonia Gandhi’s condolence message on the demise of Shri Ahmed Patel. pic.twitter.com/JiOwjr3j1n
— Congress (@INCIndia) November 25, 2020
Sachin Pilot, a Congress leader from Rajasthan, condoled Patel’s demise and said his death had left a void which could not be filled.”
Extremely saddened to learn of Shri Ahmed Patel ji has passed away.
Shri Patel has left a void which can not be filled.He was a dedicated congressman, a passionate nationalist and friend and mentor to so many…
I join in grief with Faisal, Mumtaz, and the rest of the family. 🙏
— Sachin Pilot (@SachinPilot) November 25, 2020
Patel is credited for his role as a mediator in managing the crises in Rajasthan Congress recently when Pilot and 19 MLAs attempted a rebellion against the government of Ashok Ghelot. “It is a great loss for Congress Party and all Congress workers like me,” said Ghelot
Deeply saddened and shocked to learn about the untimely passing away of veteran Congress leader & friend Sh. #AhmedPatel ji. It is a great loss for Congress Party and all Congress workers like me. His contribution to the party will always be remembered.
— Ashok Gehlot (@ashokgehlot51) November 25, 2020
Patel was born in Bharuch city in south Gujarat. He has been a member of the Lok Sabha three times and the Rajya Sabha five times. Though he never became a minister, in Rajiv Gandhi’s time, he was parliamentary secretary, a post which holds the rank of Minister of State.
He is also said to have played a significant role in stitching an unlikely alliance between the Shiv Sena, the Congress and NCP that resulted in the current coalition government in Maharashtra even though BJP had emerged as the single largest party.
Shortly after the news of Patel’s death, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray 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.”
NCP chief Sharad Pawar also expressed his sadness at the demise.
Several others paid rich tributes to the Congress leader.
Deeply saddened to know about the demise of veteren congress leader Shri Ahmed Patel. His contribution to @INCIndia will always be remembered.
My sincere condolences to members of his family.
— Sharad Pawar (@PawarSpeaks) November 25, 2020
Inna lilahi wa inna ilaihi ra’jioun. Deeply saddened to hear about the demise of Shri #AhmedPatel, he was the kind of leader who was respected by all the parties. My thoughts & prayers are with his family @mfaisalpatel pic.twitter.com/4QVRDV7xWj
— Irfan Pathan (@IrfanPathan) November 25, 2020
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
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.
— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) November 25, 2020
Patel’s role in helping assuage the crises within the Congress time and again got him the epithet of ‘trouble-shooter’.