NEW DELHI: Ahmed Patel’s demise couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Congress, which is struggling to deal with the revolt by a group of veteran leaders seeking radical changes in the party. His death could, however, pave the way for organisational and generational changes in the party.
Patel, 71, who passed away in a Gurugram hospital on Wednesday following complications related to Covid-19, was known for his political acumen to take everyone, including the warring young and old guards, together.
According to sources, he worked hard to settle the internal strife within the party till his last. When voices were raised against the party high command, Patel ensured to reach out to the dissenting leaders who wrote to party chief Sonia Gandhi.
Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot was candid to say that in the current situation, Congress will miss Patel even more. Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram said, “Whence do we find another like him?”
When the Rajasthan political crisis was at peak, Patel was holding back-channel talks to manage the situation arising out of rebellion by Sachin Pilot.
He was part of the three-member committee that looked into issues between Pilot and Gehlot. Patel was part of all major decision-making committees in the Congress.
“The road to 10 Janpath (Sonia Gandhi’s official residence) passes through 23 Mother Teresa Crescent (Patel’s residence),” said a senior leader.