Ahmed Patel: The 'Chanakya' of the Congress in whose hands the organization was remote

Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel has died at the age of 71 on Wednesday morning. Ahmed Patel was considered as the ‘Chanakya’ of the Congress in political affairs. Ahmed Patel, who started the political journey from the post of Taluka Panchayat President of Congress, was an eight-time MP. He reached the Lok Sabha at the age of 26 after defeating the anger of the Emergency in 1977 and then did not look back in politics. Not only this, he worked with three generations of the Gandhi family and remained close to them, but never became a minister. 

Ahmed Patel was the political advisor of Sonia Gandhi, the president of the country’s oldest party Congress. Along with the Gandhi family, he was considered to be the ‘troublemaker’ leader of the Congress. It is said that because of Ahmed Patel, Sonia Gandhi has been able to establish herself in Indian politics. After the assassination of her Prime Minister husband Rajiv Gandhi, she could manage such a large party, despite the deteriorating relationship with leaders like Narasimha Rao. Ahmed Patel has been a big hand behind this journey of Sonia. 

Please tell that Ahmed Patel, born on 21 August 1949 in Ankleshwar in Bharuch district of Gujarat, was a three-time Lok Sabha MP and five-time Rajya Sabha MP. Ahmad Patel’s father Mohammed Ishakji Patel was a taluka panchayat member of Bharuch and a Congress leader. Ahmed Patel learned politics by holding his father’s finger and became the president of the Congress’s Panchayat Taluk. However, Ahmed Patel has kept his children away from politics. In 1976 he married Memuna Ahmed and had two children. Have a son and daughter. 

Was MP at the age of 26

When the Congress fell face-down in the 1977 Lok Sabha elections due to the emergency, and Gujarat had saved some of its credibility, Ahmed Patel was one of the handful who reached Parliament. Ahmed Patel became the youngest Member of Parliament in 1977 by winning the Lok Sabha elections from Bharuch at the age of 26. His victory surprised all political pundits, including Indira Gandhi. After this, in 1980 and 1984, MPs reached the Bharuch seat by winning it. After Indira Gandhi wanted to induct Ahmed in the cabinet after the Congress’s return in 1980, he preferred working in the organization.

Rajiv Gandhi assumed the legacy after the assassination of Indira Gandhi. Rajiv wanted to give a ministerial berth to Ahmed after the 1984 election, but Ahmed again chose the party. During Rajiv, he created the National Network of Youth Congress. Apart from this, Patel was president of the Youth Congress Committee of Gujarat from 1977 to 1982. From September 1983 to December 1984, he was the joint secretary of the Congress Committee. From January to September in 1985, he was the Parliamentary Secretary to Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. Apart from him, Arun Singh and Oscar Fernandes were also Rajiv’s parliamentary secretaries. 

Patel was the national general secretary of the Congress from 1985 to January 1986. Patel, who started his career as the Taluka Panchayat President of the Congress, became the President of the Gujarat Congress in January 1986, which he held till October 1988. When Narasimha Rao became Prime Minister in 1991, Patel was made a member of the Congress Working Committee, which he remained till now. Became Treasurer of Congress Committee in 1996, at that time Sitaram Kesari was the President of Congress. However, his relationship with Sonia Gandhi’s personal secretary V George deteriorated in 2000, after which he left the post. After that he became the political adviser to Sonia Gandhi the following year. 

Congress was called Chanakya

Ahmed Patel was called Chanakya of 10 Janpath. Ahmed, the closest to the Gandhi family and the Congress’s most powerful influence, used to remain low-profile and kept himself on silent mode. No one knows what was on his mind except the Gandhi family. With Congress in power at the Center from 2004 to 2014, everyone has seen the political power of Ahmed Patel. 

Not only the Congress organization, but also the future of Congress leaders in the government that was formed from the state to the center, Ahmed Patel used to decide. At the party meetings in the UPA government, whenever Sonia said that she would think and tell, it was assumed that she would take the decision after consulting Ahmed Patel. Even a lot of decisions of UPA 1 and 2 were taken after Patel’s consent. Not only this, even though the command of the Congress has been in the hands of the Gandhi family, without Ahmed Patel, the leaf would not have moved in the party. That is, the remote lived near them.

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