Ahmed Patel only a shadow of former self

Best known as a Congress back-room boy after the Rajiv Gandhi era, party chief political adviser Ahmed Patel, who once had the authority to influence decisions and suppress voices of dissent in the Gujarat Congress, now finds himself restricted to call the shots only in the state’s Bharuch constituency.

Under Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s regime, Patel has not even been consulted for the selection of candidates in Gujarat for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

He has only been entrusted the task of finding a candidate, or contesting himself, in South Gujarat’s Bharuch constituency.

Patel won the Bharuch seat thrice – in 1977, 1980 and 1984. However, he lost to BJP’s Chandu Deshmukh twice thereafter. Even though Bharuch is his home constituency, Patel has not been able to win the seat for the party since 1989.

Senior Congress leaders claim that while Patel has not been making enough electoral impact, he ensures that he is the only one in the state to remain powerful in Delhi.
State leaders who spoke to Deccan Herald pointed out that specific decisions Patel had made resulted in the Congress’ decimation in Gujarat.

“He has ensured that none other than him should be powerful and he never wanted a strong local leadership to develop,” said a senior leader requesting anonymity.

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