Congress veteran Ahmed Patel was remembered by party leaders on Sunday on the occasion of his 73rd birth anniversary as they paid him tributes and said he was the “pillar” for the party for about four decades. Patel – who was said to be close to the Gandhis- died on November 25, 2020, due to health issues aggravated by Covid.
Extending tributes, party leader Mallikarjun Kharge said that Patel was a “dedicated Congress person whose leadership, guidance, immense political knowledge, and simplicity shall always remain in our hearts”. “My humble tributes to senior Congress leader Shri Ahmed Patel ji on his birth anniversary. A tall figure and a dedicated Congress person whose leadership, guidance, immense political knowledge, and simplicity shall always remain in our hearts,” the Rajya Sabha leader wrote on Twitter.
Former union minister Jairam Ramesh called Ahmed Patel the “pillar of Congress organization for almost four decades”. “Today is Ahmed Patel’s 73rd birth anniversary. He was a pillar of the Congress organisation for almost four decades and is missed every single day by the party. Indian public life is poorer by his absence,” he tweeted.
“Remembering Sh @ahmedpatel Ji on his birth anniversary. A man who was everyone’s friend across age groups, helped, listened to & always encouraged young leaders/workers to do better,” Congress spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill wrote.
Ahmed Patel’s son Faisal Patel also shared a memory – captured in a photograph – with his father. “You were a grand man, you were a soul man. I hope you are smiling down upon us from jannat- I – firdaus-happy birthday papa, you were truly special,” he tweeted.
Also read: Why Ahmed Patel mattered in Indian politics
Born on August 21, 1949, Ahmed Patel began his political career by contesting local body elections in Gujarat’s Bharuch district in 1976. In 1985, he became the Parliamentary Secretary to then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi. In 1987, Ahmed Patel helped set up the Narmada Management Authority to monitor the Sardar Sarovar Project. He was later appointed the secretary of the Jawahar Bhavan Trust in 1988.
In 2005, the Congress leader was inducted into the Rajya Sabha for his fourth term. He also served as the political secretary to Sonia Gandhi. He had also been appointed as the treasurer of the All India Congress Committee in 2018.