NEW DELHI: The sudden demise of Ahmed Patel is an incalculable loss for the Congress. And not just since he had an uncanny knack of reconciling variations in between factions and acting as a bridge in between opposition and other stakeholders.
But, rather, since of his immense capacity for resource generation and a lot more so right after the demise of Murli Deora who kept the money registers perpetually ringing in the celebration headquarters.
Only ‘Ahmed Bhai’ is privy to exactly where the Congress funds had been parked by him in his capacity as the AICC treasurer, the post he took more than from the aged Motilal Vora.
No wonder Sonia Gandhi rightly described him as an “irreplaceable comrade.”
His significance to the celebration was manifest in organisational basic secretary K C Venugopal declaring that the celebration flag would fly at half-mast for 3 days. Some even wanted his physique brought to the AICC headquarters to allow celebration members to spend him homage, but the concept was dropped due to the Covid protocol.
The demise could not have come at a worse time for the rudderless Congress. ‘Ahmed Bhai’ was the only leader who could have brought the warring factions to the negotiation table he alone had a fantastic rapport with the seniors — the Group of 23 who had publicly expressed concern more than the drift. Sonia would have listened to him ahead of anointing Rahul as the celebration president.
Another veteran, who could have played a function in managing the conflict, is former defence minister A K Antony, but he is seriously ill. Moreover, Antony has taken a partisan position by attacking the seniors who had formed the Group of 23.
There are leaders like Mallikarjun Kharge as also Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot and Punjab CM Capt. Amarinder Singh who could play a function in resolving disputes but none has Ahmed Bhai’s acumen and resourcefulness.
It will be no surprise if the organisational elections planned in January-February are place off by a couple of months.
‘Ahmed Bhai’ constantly suspected that Rahul wanted to reduce him to size since of the sort of influence he wielded more than Sonia Gandhi. But Sonia’s days are passé, she created complete use of her gifted ‘comrade;’ it is Rahul who will not come across a further interlocutor who is each trustworthy and effective.