Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel Dies at 71

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Senior Congress leader and party treasurer Ahmed Patel passed away on Wednesday morning at a Delhi hospital due to multiple organ failure more than a month after he was tested positive for COVID-19. He was 71.

The announcement of his demise was made by his son Faisal Patel.

Faisal in a statement on Twitter said that Ahmed Patel passed away at 3.30 am on November 25. “After testing positive for Covid-19 around a month back, his health worsened further due to multiple organ failures,”  the statement read.

He also requested well-wishers of his father to adhere to COVID-19 guidelines and avoid any mass gatherings to mourn the Congress leader’s demise. He was undergoing treatment at Medanta Hospital in Gurugram since November 15. 

Ahmed Patel had announced on October 1 through his twitter handle that he tested positive for COVID-19. He wrote, “I have tested positive for COVID-19. I request all those who came in close contact with me recently, to self isolate.”

Ahmed Patel has for long been the power centre in Congress being party president Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary. He had also earlier worked as Parliamentary Secretary for her husband Rajiv Gandhi in 1985. He was appointed the treasurer of the party in 2018 after the long time treasurer Motilal Vohra bowed out.

An eight-time parliamentarian, Ahmed Patel served three terms in the Lok Sabha and five terms in the Rajya Sabha. His last Rajya Sabha election in 2017 was heavily contested and included sequestering Gujarat legislators in Karnataka to avoid horse-trading. He has always been the party’s troubleshooter and was the key leader to co-ordinate between Congress and other parties.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also condoled the death of the veteran leader. “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,” Gandhi tweeted.

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