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Former Gujarat CM Keshubhai Patel passes away at 92

Former Gujarat Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel passed away on October 29, 2020. He was 92. He passed away reportedly due to cardiac arrest.

The veteran BJP leader was rushed to Sterling Hospital in Ahmedabad early morning today after he complained of difficulty in breathing and chest pain. He was diagnosed with COVID-19 in September. 

Keshubhai Patel, Former Chief Minister of Gujarat, passes away at the age of 92. He was admitted at a hospital in Ahmedabad. (File pic) pic.twitter.com/RZu4cMmLDp

— ANI (@ANI) October 29, 2020

Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the death of the late leader through a series of tweets, in which he remembered how Keshubhai Patel was an outstanding leader who cared for every section of society and he devoted his life towards the progress of the state and the empowerment of every Gujarati.

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. pic.twitter.com/pmahHWetIX

— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 29, 2020

The Prime Minister also highlighted how Keshubhai travelled across the length and breadth of Gujarat to strengthen the BJP party and the Jana Sangh. PM Modi added by saying that the issues of farmer welfare were closest to his heart and be it as MLA, MP, Minister or CM, he ensured many farmer-friendly measures were passed.

Keshubhai travelled across the length and breadth of Gujarat to strengthen the Jana Sangh and 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. pic.twitter.com/qvXxG0uHvo

— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 29, 2020

PM Modi also mentioned how Keshubhai mentored and groomed many younger Karyakartas including him and everyone loved his affable nature. The Prime Minister noted that his demise is an irreparable loss.

Keshubhai mentored and groomed many younger Karyakartas including me. 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. pic.twitter.com/p9HF3D5b7y

— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 29, 2020

Keshubhai Patel: Political Journey

Keshubhai Patel joined the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in 1945 as a pracharak. 

He began his political journey as a worker for the Jan Sangh, of which he was a founding member in the 1960s. He was among the leaders who were imprisoned during the emergency.

Keshubhai Patel later served as the Chief Minister of Gujarat for two terms in 1995 and from 1998 to 2001.

He had served as a member of the Gujarat Legislative Assembly six times.

He had quit the BJP in 2012 and formed his political party Gujarat Parivartan Party. However, the party performed poorly in the 2012 Gujarat assembly elections.

The party was later expanded by merging it with the Mahagujarat Janata Party.

The party was later merged back with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in February 2014.

The veteran leader was elected from the Visavadar assembly seat in 2012 but later resigned due to ill health in 2014.

Background

Keshubhai Patel was born in 1928 in Visavadar, Junagadh district of Gujarat. He married Leela Patel and has six children, five sons and a daughter. His wife had passed away in 2006. In 2017, one of his son's Pravin Patel died of cardiac arrest in the United States. 

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