New Delhi, Oct 29 (IANS) Conveying his condolence to the kin of former Gujarat Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel, President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday said the nation has lost a stalwart leader.
The President took Twitter to express his condolence, saying “Keshubhai Ji’s dogged determination for social service and committment to Indian ethos will remain exemplary for all. My condolences to his family and friends”.
“With the demise of Keshubhai Patel, former Gujarat Chief Minister, the nation has lost a stalwart leader. His long public life was dedicated to improving the lives of millions, especially in villages. As champion of farmers’ causes, he enjoyed extraordinary rapport with masses.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh along with various Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) expressed sorrow over the death of Patel who breathed his last at a hospital in Ahmedabad on Thursday morning at the age of 92 years.
The Prime Minister expressed deep sadness at the death of Patel, calling him an “outstanding leader” who devoted his life towards the progress of Gujarat.
Mentioning as “our beloved and respected Keshubhai”, Modi in a series of tweet said, “I am deeply pained and saddened” on his passing away.
“He was an outstanding leader who cared for every section of society. His life was devoted towards the progress of Gujarat and the empowerment of every Gujarati.”
The Prime Minister said that Keshubhai travelled across the length and breadth of Gujarat to strengthen the Jana Sangh and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
“He resisted the Emergency tooth and nail. Issues of farmer welfare were closest to his heart. Be it as MLA, MP, Minister or CM, he ensured many farmer friendly measures were passed,” Modi said.
Modi reminded how Keshubhai mentored and groomed many younger Karyakartas including him.
“Everyone loved his affable nature. His demise is an irreparable loss. We are all grieving today. My thoughts are with his family and well-wishers. Spoke to his son Bharat and expressed condolences. Om Shanti.”
Expressing condolence at the sudden demise of Patel, Shah said: “While in the BJP, Keshubhai played an important role in strengthening the organization in Gujarat. As a trustee of Somnath Temple, he always supported the development of the temple. Keshubhai will always remain in our memory with his actions and behaviour.”
In his condolence message, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said Keshubhai Patel ji was an effective administrator who left an indelible mark in public life.
“I offer my tributes to the departed leader. In this hour of grief, I express my heartfelt condolences to his family and well-wishers. Om Shanti,” Singh said in a series of tweets.
Singh said that Keshubhai Patel will always be remembered for his unwavering commitment to serve the people.
“Former Chief Minister of Gujarat, Keshubhai was a political stalwart who played a significant role in strengthening the BJP in the state. Deeply pained by his demise today.”
Patel was hospitalised after he complained of difficulty in breathing on Thursday morning. He breathed his last during treatment.
The BJP leader was the Chief Minister of Gujarat twice — in 1995 and from 1998 to 2001. He was a six-time MLA. He was replaced by Narendra Modi as Chief Minister of Gujarat in 2001.