Former Gujarat Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel died on Thursday at an Ahmedabad hospital, PTI reported. He was 92.
Last month, Patel had tested positive for coronavirus but was discharged from hospital 10 days later, after testing negative. However, he had to be taken to the hospital on Thursday morning after his health deteriorated, reported The Indian Express. One of Patel’s acquaintances told the newspaper that despite recovering from Covid-19 “some damage had been done to his health, as he also suffered from cancer of the prostate”.
The hospital, however, clarified that he did not die of coronavirus. “We tried to revive him but couldn’t after he was brought to the hospital in an unconscious state, following sudden cardiac arrest,” Dr Akshay Kiledar of Sterling Hospital told ANI. “He was declared dead at 11.55 am. He didn’t die due to corona.”
President Ram Nath Kovind tweeted paying his tribute to Patel. “His long public life was dedicated to improving the lives of millions, especially in villages,” Kovind said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted saying that he was “pained and saddened” by Patel’s demise and that the leader had groomed many karyakartas (party workers), including him.
Patel served as the chief minister of Gujarat in 1995 and again from 1998 to 2001, after which Modi replaced him. Patel quit the Bharatiya Janata Party and launched his own outfit, Gujarat Parivartan Party, in 2012. He was a member of the Gujarat Assembly six times. After unsuccessfully contesting against the BJP in 2012, his party was expanded by merging with the Mahagujarat Janata Party. The party was later dissolved and Patel re-joined BJP in 2014.