Former Gujarat chief minister Keshubhai Patel died here on Thursday after prolonged illness.
The BJP veteran was the state chief minister in 1995 and again during 1998-2001. Narendra Modi had succeeded him as Gujarat chief minister.
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.”
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu condoled the demise of the former Gujarat CM.
“News of the passing away of former Gujarat chief minister Shri Keshubhai Patel is deeply saddening. He was a popular leader and dedicated his entire life in the service of the poor and downtrodden. Hailing from an agriculturist’s family, Keshubhai always championed the cause of farmers…..Coming from a humble background, Shri Keshubhai Patel reached the post of the Chief Minister of Gujarat only because of his hard work, down- to- earth nature, simplicity and exemplary leadership….With his passing away, the nation has lost a great leader. My condolences to the bereaved family members and friends. Om Shanti,” said the Vice President in a statement.
Prime Minister Narednra Modi tweeted, “Our beloved and respected Keshubhai has passed awayI 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.”
Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani paid tributes to the BJP stalwart saying Patel’s death is a huge loss for the people of Gujarat.
Patel was a member of the Gujarat Legislative Assembly six times. He quit the BJP in 2012 and floated the Gujarat Parivartan Party, which performed poorly in 2012 Assembly polls and merged with the BJP in 2014.
Born in Visavadar town of Junagadh district in 1928, Patel joined the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in 1945 as a pracharak. He 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 Patel’s son Bharat Patel.
“We rushed him to a hospital here after his health deteriorated today morning. Though doctors tried hard, he could not survive,” Patel told reporters.
Patel was also the chairman of the Shree Somnath Trust, which manages the famous Somnath temple in Saurashtra region.