KESHUBHAI Patel, Gujarat’s veteran political leader, dies

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KESHUBHAI Patel, a towering political personality of Gujarat, breathed his last at an Ahmedabad hospital on Thursday, 29 October 2020. Keshubhai Patel complained of difficulty in breathing in the morning and was hospitalised where he died the same day. He had headed the state as Chief Minister ahead of Narendra Modi era commenced in the western state. Keshubhai Patel was the Chief Minister of Gujarat in 1995 and from 1998 to 2001. He was a six-time member of the Gujarat Legislative Assembly.  Patel was born on July 24, 1928, in Visavadar town in the present Junagadh district. He joined the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in 1945 as a pracharak. He was imprisoned during the emergency. Patel quit  BJP in 2012 and floated The Gujarat Parivartan Party. He was elected from Visavadar in the 2012 state assembly election but later resigned in 2014 due to ill health. Expressing his grief over the demise of  Keshubhai Patel, Prime Minister Narendra Modi recalled his 45 year-long association with the leader and said his death is an irreparable loss for him. ‘’ He was like a father figure to me. It is an irreparable loss for me. He had given six decades to public life. He was a patriot and always used to think about national interest,” he said in an emotional video message recalling a long discussion with him during a recently virtual meeting of Somnath Trust. Keshubhai Patel married Leela Patel and had five sons and a daughter. His son, Bharat Patel, is associated with  BJP. Leela Patel died at home in Gandhinagar due to an electrical fire in  2006. In 2017, Patel’s 60-year-old son, Pravin Patel, living in the US, died of cardiac arrest.

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