Farewell Ahmed:Sonia's tribute to trusted colleague

'Farewell Ahmed', Sonia's personal tribute to a trusted colleague

Sonia Gandhi noted that Patel has been called troubleshooter and crisis manager.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi with her political adviser Ahmed Patel. Credit: PTI File Photo

Congress President Sonia Gandhi has penned a heartfelt tribute to Ahmed Patel, remembering him as the “most trusted colleague” who was “snatched very cruelly” at a time when he was needed the most.

In an obituary ‘Farewell Ahmed’ in Congress mouthpiece ‘National Herald’, Gandhi described Patel, her political secretary for 16 years, as among those rare individuals who preferred to remain in the background and let others take credit.

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“Ever since I myself became Congress President, he was at my side as a most trusted colleague, as someone I could always turn to for advice and counsel, as someone who I could depend upon without any questions being asked, to do the right thing by the Congress Party,” she said.

Gandhi noted that Patel has been called troubleshooter and crisis manager.

“He was indeed that and much more. He was a sounding board. He was a confidant. All this makes his untimely passing a matter of the greatest anguish,” she said.

The Congress President’s glowing tribute to Patel has come at a time when the party is in a disarray with senior leaders such as Ghulam Nabi Azad, Kapil Sibal, Anand Sharma and others forming a ginger group within the party, calling for sweeping changes in the organisation.

The ginger group has become a target of the Gandhi family loyalists, who have asked them to quit the party if they cannot follow the discipline and continue to air internal issues in public.

“We are all destined to depart sometime or the other but Ahmed has been snatched away from us very cruelly at a time when he was most needed. Congress needed him. Indian politics and public life needed him. We needed him,” Gandhi said.