Senior Congress leader and the party's top strategist Ahmed Patel died in New Delhi early on Wednesday morning. Patel (71) was critical for a few days and was admitted to the Medanta Hospital in Gurugram. He had contracted COVID-19 and later developed complications. "With profound grief and sorrow, I regret to announce and sad and untimely demise of my father, Ahmed Patel at November 25 at 3.30 am. After testing positive for the coronavirus around a month ago, his health worsened further due to multiple organ failures...I request all well wishers to adhere to COVID-19 law and order regulations by avoiding any mass gatherings and to also maintain physical distancing norms at all times," his children, Faisal Patel and Mumtaz Patel said in a statement.
This comes after Ahmed Patel showed some sign of recovery with his daughter stating last week, that his condition was improving. "He is significantly better and he is stable but the treatment is going to take a long time. We do hope he recovers well enough to talk you all personally. Please keep praying for him and thanks for your wishes and thoughts," Mumtaz had said.
He was one of the closest aides of party president Sonia Gandhi and was her political adviser. He had often steered the party out of difficult situations.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress leaders, including Rahul Gandhi, have condoled his demise.
"Saddened by the demise of Ahmed Patel. 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 Ahmedâ€™s soul rest in peace," the Prime Minister tweeted.
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 Bhaiâ€™s soul rest in peace.â€” Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) November 25, 2020
Taking to Twitter, Rahul Gandhi said, "It is a sad day. 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 and the family."
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.â€” Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) November 25, 2020
We will miss him. My love and condolences to Faisal, Mumtaz & the family. pic.twitter.com/sZaOXOIMEX
Many others also offered their condolences.
In Shri Ahmed Patel, I've lost a colleague, whose entire life was dedicated to Congress. I've lost an irreplaceable comrade, a faithful colleague & a friend. Feel deeply for his bereaved family to whom I offer my sincere feelings of empathy & support: Sonia Gandhi, Congress pic.twitter.com/ygiXEN9JH4â€” ANI (@ANI) November 25, 2020
Saddened by the passing away of Ahmed Patel ji. I extend my condolences to his family, followers & admirers in this hour of grief. May his soul rest in peaceâ€” Smriti Z Irani (@smritiirani) November 25, 2020
Extremely saddened to hear of the passing of Mr Ahmed Patel, who was a lynchpin of the Indian National Congress.
On behalf of the DMK, I extend my condolences to his family as well as the Congress cadres who are mourning his loss. pic.twitter.com/ymWV9rqGljâ€” M.K.Stalin (@mkstalin) 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.â€” Akhilesh Yadav (@yadavakhilesh) November 25, 2020
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.â€” President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) November 25, 2020
With IANS and PTI inputs