Condolences poured in on Wednesday as the news spread of the demise of Ahmed Patel, a senior Congress leader and close aide of party chief Sonia Gandhi.

“Saddened by the demise of Ahmed Patelji. He spent years in public life, serving society. Known for his sharp mind, his role in strengthening the Congress Party would always be remembered. Spoke to his son Faisal, and expressed condolences. May Ahmed Bhai’s soul rest in peace,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted.

“It is a sad day. Shri Ahmed Patel was a pillar of the Congress party. He lived and breathed Congress and stood with the party through its most difficult times. He was a tremendous asset. We will miss him. My love and condolences to Faisal, Mumtaz & the family,” former party chief Rahul Gandhi tweeted on the demise of the 71-year-old Congress stalwart.

“Ahmedji was not only a wise and experienced colleague to whom I constantly turned for advice and counsel, he was a friend who stood by us all, steadfast, loyal, and dependable to the end. His passing away leaves an immense void. May his soul rest in peace,” party General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said.

“Deeply shocked and saddened to learn that my dear friend Ahmed Patel passed away in the early hours of today. He was a friend in the truest sense, loyal to the party and his colleagues, always wiling to help and always there when one needed him. Whence do we find another like him?” senior leader P. Chidambaram said.

Patel passed away at 3.30 a.m. in a Gurugram hospital following Covid complication, his son Faisal Patel confirmed in a tweet.

He had been battled the deadly virus for more than a month.