Amid thousands of well-wishers, the Congress veteran and party’s ace troubleshooter Ahmed Patel’s mortal remains were laid to rest in his native village in Gujarat’s Bharuch district, following the Covid-19 guidelines.
Many top national leaders of the party, including Rahul Gandhi, were present during the funeral to pay their last respects.
The last rites were carried out at the Sunni Vohra Muslim Jamaat graveyard in the Piraman village, Patel’s ancestral village. As per his wish, his dead body was buried beside his parents’ graves and due Covid-19 guidelines and protocols were followed during the funeral.
Ahmed Patel passed away on Wednesday morning due to post-Covid issues, according to his son Faisal. He was admitted in the Medanta hospital in Gurugram from where his body was flown to Vadodara and from there to Ankleshwar hospital, where it was kept till Thursday morning. After a brief 10-minute stop at his residence, his mortal remains were brought to the graveyard.
After performing the final Namaz for the deceased, Ahmed Patel’s dead body was buried by his family members, relatives and friends, most of them attired in Personal Protection Equipment (PPE). Thousands thronged at the graveyard, trying to catch a last glimpse of their leader. The police were seen requesting them to follow the Covid-19 guidelines and at one point at a place, the police had to use mild force to control them.
Many of the top national Congress leaders remained present during the funeral, including Rahul Gandhi, who had flown to Surat airport Thursday morning. Besides him, the party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala, the former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, the Gujarat in-charge Rajiv Satav, senior leader Madhusudan Mistry, Rajya Sabha member Shaktisinh Gohil, were also at the funeral.
The Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) president Amit Chavda, the leader of the Opposition (LOP) in Gujarat state Assembly Paresh Dhanani, Siddharth Patel, Arjun Modhwadia, the working GPCC president Hardik Patel were present at the funeral besides hundreds of party workers. The former Gujarat CM Shankersinh Vaghela was also present and the lone independent legislator in the state Assembly, Jignesh Mevani was also there at the graveyard to bid farewell to the leader.
Rahul Gandhi, after arriving was constantly seen comforting Patel’s son Faisal and his daughter Mumtaz. After the funeral, Gandhi returned to Delhi. Paying their respects to the Congress leader, the town of Bharuch observed a day’s mourning on Thursday and kept it shut.
The Gujarat Congress organized prayer meetings at regional headquarters across the state in respect of the deceased Congress leader. Live transmission of the funeral was made available at these places.