Senior Congress chief Ahmed Patel, certainly one of Sonia Gandhi’s closest political advisers and a prime occasion trouble-shooter, has died at 71. He had been in hospital since his well being worsened after a Covid an infection.
A staunch Nehru-Gandhi household loyalist, Ahmed Patel served as political secretary to Sonia Gandhi for years and was among the many strongest leaders within the Congress however he by no means joined the federal government, preferring to maintain a low profile.
He represented Gujarat eight instances in parliament – thrice as a Lok Sabha member and 5 instances from the Rajya Sabha.
His election to the Rajya Sabha for the fifth time in 2017 got here after a bitter contest. He was challenged by a former occasion colleague who switched to the BJP earlier than the polls, which made it the primary Rajya Sabha election in Gujarat in a long time to see a contest as an alternative of candidates getting elected unopposed.
The son of a social employee, Mr Patel was born in Gujarat’s Bharuch, which he represented within the Lok Sabha. He joined the Youth Congress and went on to develop into its state president.
He was simply 28 when he was handpicked by Indira Gandhi to contest from Bharuch in 1977. He gained in 1980 and 1984 as effectively, however misplaced in 1990 because the BJP began gaining prominence.
A quiet operator, Mr Patel was mentioned to be among the many key movers within the Congress-led alliance that got here to energy in 2004.