Indian politician from the Indian National Congress Ahmedbhai Mohammedbhai Patel was a trusted political member and secretary to the Congress President Sonia Gandhi. He was commonly known as the man who had ear of Sonia Gandhi through all her good and bad times. Having represented Gujarat for over four terms in the Parliament of India, he was known for his troubleshooting attitude and perfect coordination as a translator between the government and the party.
Patel, 71, died in the wee hours on November 25, 2020 due to multiple organ failure stemming from COVID-19. Post his death, a certain communication gap and mismanagement surfaced between the Congress party and the workers led by Patel, as he was considered as a motivator within the party. After his death, most of the members have left the party and have joined BJP. The daughter of the ‘political heir’, Mumtaz Patel, too believed that there’s nobody to listen to the Congress workers and it’s a major issue that worries the future of the party. The party needs a suitable leader that could handle and head the party in a proper direction.
The trusted aide of the Congress supremo Sonia Gandhi for nearly two decades, Late Ahmed Patel’s 45-year-old daughter, Mumtaz Patel Siddiqui sent a message through a recent statement that justified her political will and commitment. Currently, she is supervising the transfer of her father’s belongings from his office to their ancestral home in Piraman, located in Bharuch, Gujarat.
While speaking to the reporters, she said, “I am thinking of entering politics. I had put forward this suggestion way back in 2020 to my late father about my interest in politics, but he denied saying- ‘politics is a dirty thing’, as he had seen it very closely. To which I questioned him and raised the future speculations post his era of reign. He said that he needed some time to come to a definite conclusion.”
It was a time when people from the middle areas of Gujarat to the southern areas (lining near the borders), used to flock around after receiving the news of late Ahmed Patel’s visit to Piraman, but the families are suffering extensively these days, who once upon a time owned power during his rule, are begging to have a sustained life now. The family had to struggle to get a space to live in Delhi. Even Sonia Gandhi’s intervention went futile and could not lead to any proper solution. For the past 28 years, the bungalow at 23, Willingdon Crescent in Jamnagar, belonged to Ahmed Patel, when he was a Rajya Sabha member.
“Post-raid (conducted by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) at the residence in connection with a money laundering case involving Gujarat-based Sterling Biotech, the business relations have been affected. People get scared about ED’s raids periodically,” as stated by Mumtaz. “Nearly 90 percent of the business dealings have ceased to carry any trade relations further and her 41-year-old brother Faisal Patel is also on medical support. The entire family is running under a critical financial crisis and going through all kinds of mental, emotional and financial challenges,” she said.
Expressing over the release of the 11 convicts in Bilkis Bano case, Patel’s daughter, Mumtaz reacted strongly through her tweet, “I am a woman and a mother of two daughters. And, this is why, I wrote to PM Narendra Modi stating that this case should not be judged on the basis of either caste or religion. It’s a sensitive case related to the dignity of a woman, who was gang-raped by a huge mob. She recalled how PM Modi’s assistance on health matters relieved her family from many outrages when Ahmed Patel was hospitalised at Gurugram’s Vedanta. PM also inquired about her family after the demise of her father. Sonia Gandhi was the next person to make the call. Later, when I met PM Modi with my brother Faisal at the Parliament House, the PM interacted with us for around 20 minutes. Though, we didn’t have any prior meeting scheduled with him.”
After Patel’s younger son Faisal posted a tweet citing that he had kept all of his options open, a wild speculation has started emerging ahead of December, 2022’s Assembly polls regarding his entry into the political arena. But his current health situations are a great barrier for him.
Well, only time can tell how efficient and effective Mumtaz will be in her political career in carrying the legacy set by her late father Ahmed Patel (AP) who acted as a stalwart for Congress Party from one generation to another.