Ahmad Patel: Life and Legacy

Ahmad Patel is no more

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Ahmedbhai Mohammedbhai Patel, better known as Ahmed Patel was born on 21s August has passed away on 25th November 2020. A veteran Congress Leader and confident of its patron, he was political secretary to Sonia Gandhi. He is widely credited with the party’s performance in the 2004 and 2009 General elections.

His Legacy –

Patel has represented Gujarat for eight terms in Parliament of India; three times in the lower house (1977 – 1989) and five times in the upper House (1993 – 2020). He was also the treasurer of the All India Congress Committee. 

Patel started his political career by contesting local body elections in the Bharuch District of Gujarat in 1976. Since then, he has virtually occupied every major position in the party’s state and central wings. From January to September 1985 Ahmed Patel was the Parliamentary Secretary to the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. In 1987 he in his capacity as Member of Parliament, Patel was proactive in setting up the Narmada Management Authority to monitor the Sardar Sarovar Project.

On the occasion of Jawaharlal Nehru’s birth centenary celebration, Patel was appointed the secretary of the Jawahar Bhavan Trust in 1988. He was asked by the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi to supervise the construction of Jawahar Bhavan in New Delhi’s Raisina Road, a project which had been stalled for more than a decade. In a record one year, just in time for Nehru’s birth centenary celebrations, Patel successfully created Jawahar Bhavan, which was at that point a highly futuristic building equipped with computers, telephones and energy saving air conditioners. The building was constructed using funds from Congress lawmakers and partly crowd funded through one day cricket matches.

In 2005, Ahmed Patel had got Bharuch included as one of the first five districts to be covered under the then launched Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana, to boost electrification in the district. The Sardar Patel Bridge to decongest traffic between the twin cities of Bharuch and Ankleshwar has been one of his contributions to the region.

In 2005, Ahmed Patel was inducted into the Rajya Sabha for his fourth term. Though considered Sonia Gandhi’s chief strategist, he chose to keep out of the UPA government in the 14th and 15th Lok Sabha. He maintains a low profile and avoids media and public Glare. Patel is the only second Muslim after Ehsan Jafri to be elected as a Lok Sabha MP in Gujarat.

During the UPA Government regime between 2004 and 2014, Patel was one of the chief troubleshooters, coordinators and translators between the government and party. He is also the political secretary of Sonia Gandhi in the Indian National Congress.

In 2017, he again got elected Rajya Sabha. It was a known victory for Ahmed Patel. Karnataka Congress Leader D.K. Shivakumar took Gujarat MLAs to Bengaluru to avoid dissent and helped Ahmed Patel to win the election.

Personal Life:

Ahmed Patel is married to Memoona Ahmed Patel since 1976. The couple has a daughter and a son. He is known to keep a low profile and rarely interacts with the media. Apart from politics, he is been seen as a close Aide to the Nehru-Gandhi Family, which form the leadership of the party.


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