Former Gujarat Chief Minster Keshubhai Patel passes away; PM Modi says he was an ‘outstanding leader’

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Updated: Oct 29, 2020 1:45 PM

Keshubhai Patel had led the first BJP government in Gujarat in 1995

keshubhai patel deadKeshubhai Patel has passed away.

Former Gujarat Chief Minister Keshubhai has passed away at the age of 93. He had led the first BJP government in Gujarat in 1995. Patel died at a hospital in Ahmedabad where he was taken on Thursday morning following health complications, The Indian Express reported.

Keshubhai Patel had recovered from COVID-19 recently.

Patel was Gujarat chief minister in 1995 and again during 1998-2001. Narendra Modi had succeeded him as Gujarat chief minister.

Patel was elected to the Gujarat Legislative Assembly for six times. He had quit the BJP in 2012 and floated the Gujarat Parivartan Party, which performed poorly in 2012 Assembly polls. Later, it merged with the BJP in 2014.

Keshubhai Patel was born in Visavadar town of Junagadh district in 1928. He joined the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in 1945 as a pracharak.

Patel started his political career as a worker for the Jan Sangh.

“Though he recently recovered from coronavirus, his health kept deteriorating due to post-Covid effects in the body,” said PTI quoted Patel’s son Bharat Patel as saying.

“We rushed him to a hospital here after his health deteriorated today morning. Though doctors tried hard, he could not survive,” Bharat added.

Keshubhai Patel was also the chairman of the Shree Somnath Trust, which manages the famous Somnath temple in Saurashtra region.

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani paid tributes to the BJP stalwart. He said that Patel’s death is a huge loss for the people of Gujarat.

Speaking at a rally at Ghadhada, where bypolls will be held on November 3, Rupani said, “Keshubhai Patel, the leader who made BJP big from Jan Sangh days, who dedicated his entire life for service of nation and farmers, has died today. This is a big loss to Gujarat and the BJP.”

President Ram Nath Kovind tweeted, “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 tweeted, “Our beloved and respected Keshubhai has passed away. I am deeply pained and saddened. 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.”

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