Ahmed Patel
Ahmed Patel
PTI

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and NCP president Sharad Pawar on Wednesday condoled the demise of senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel, lauding him as a "guiding light" and hailing his contribution towards the Congress.

Thackeray said Patel played a prominent role in the formation of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA), comprising the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress, which came to power in Maharashtra last year.

Patel, who served as the Congress's backroom strategist for years, died at a Gurugram hospital in the early hours of Wednesday. He was suffering from complications related to COVID-19.

Thackeray in a statement said, "The Congress party has lost its Chanakya in Patel's demise, while the MVA government has lost a guiding light."

"I got help from his experience and guidance when the MVA government was formed," the chief minister said.

Ahmed Patel was active not only on the political front but was also involved in several social activities, he added.

Pawar said he was deeply saddened to know about the demise of veteran Congress leader Ahmed Patel.

"His contributions to the Congress party will always be remembered. My sincere condolences to the members of his family," he said.

Union minister and senior BJP leader Nitin Gadkari also expressed grief on Patel's demise.

"Saddened to hear about the demise of veteran Congress leader Ahmed Patel Ji. My sincere condolences to the departed soul. I pray for strength to his family members and supporters in this moment of grief. Om Shanti," Gadkari tweeted.

Maharashtra Congress president Balasaheb Thorat and senior party leader Ashok Chavan also paid tributes to Patel, saying the party had lost an experienced, committed and loyal leader as well as a skilled organiser.

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