Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel passed away in the early hours of November 25. He was 71 years old.
Patel, a Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament (MP) from Gujarat and the Treasurer of the All India Congress Committee (AICC), was battling complications related to COVID-19. He had tested positive for the infectious disease on October 1.
Patel's son Faisal said his father had died after his health "worsened further due to multiple organ failure".
He was a member of the Upper House since 1993. Patel had also served as a Lok Sabha MP from Bharuch, Gujarat between 1977 and 1989.
Patel was among the people credited for Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA)’s general election wins in 2004 and 2009. He also served as the political secretary to Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi and was one of the party’s key negotiators.
Patel is survived by his wife Memoona and two children Faisal and Mumtaz.
Mourning the death of her close aide, Sonia Gandhi said she had lost an "irreplaceable comrade, faithful colleague and friend".
"In Ahmed Patel, I have lost a colleague whose entire life was dedicated to the Congress Party. His faithfulness and dedication, his commitment to his duty, his always being there to help, his generosity were rare qualities that distinguished him from others," Sonia Gandhi said.
In a tweet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi 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.”
“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,” Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said in a tweet.
Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said, “Ahmed ji was not only a wise and experienced colleague to whom I constantly turned for advice and counsel, he was a friend who stood by us all, steadfast, loyal, and dependable to the end. His passing away leaves an immense void
. May his soul rest in peace.”