Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel passed away in the early hours of Wednesday after a month long battle battle with COVID-19 and subsequently multiple organ failure. Following the news of his demise, people across the political spectrum have reacted with dismay, taking to social media platforms to extend their condolences.
Rahul Gandhi called him a "pillar" of the party who "lived and breathed Congress and stood with the party through its most difficult times". Prime Minister Modi too was among the mourners, stating that Patel's "role in strengthening the Congress Party would always be remembered".
Patel leaves behind a massive political legacy, having worked closely with the Congress for around two decades, and held a staggering number of positions within the party. Perceived as a 'trouble-shooter' for the party, Patel had been a close aide to Congress President Sonia Gandhi. He was her political advisor, and had played a pivotal role in leading the party to victory in the 2017 Gujarat polls for the Upper House of Parliament. The politician was a three-time member of Lok Sabha and was into his fifth term in the Rajya Sabha.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday said that she had lost an "irreplaceable comrade, a faithful colleague and a friend" whose life had been dedicated to the party. While Sonia Gandhi is not on social media, her comments in the wake of Patel's death were shared by the party handle.
"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," she said.
"I have lost an irreplaceable comrade, a faithful colleague and a friend. I mourn his passing and I feel deeply for his bereaved family to whom I offer my sincere feelings of empathy and support," the Congress President added.