December 1, 2023

Former Gujarat CM Keshubhai Patel passes away

Keshubhai Patel was Gujarat’s CM from March 1995 to October 1995 and from March 1998 to October 2001. He was a senior BJP leader in the state until he resigned from the party in 2012 to launch a new political outfit named ‘Gujarat Parivartan Party’ to contest the polls.

Former chief minister Keshubhai Patel, who led the first BJP government in Gujarat in 1995, passed away at 93 years at a hospital in Ahmedabad where he was rushed Thursday morning following health complications.

Confirming the news, his son Bharat said that although he had recovered from Covid 19, “some damage had been done to his health, as he also suffered from cancer of the prostate”. Patel had tested positive for Covid on September 18.

Keshubhai Patel was Gujarat’s CM from March 1995 to October 1995 and from March 1998 to October 2001. Narendra Modi had succeeded him as Gujarat chief minister. Patel was a member of the Gujarat Legislative Assembly six times. He quit the BJP in 2012 and floated the Gujarat Parivartan Party, which performed poorly in 2012 Assembly polls and merged with the BJP in 2014.

Keshubhai will be cremated today at 5 pm. Chief Minister Vijay Rupani who was campaigning in Gadhada, cut it short to rush to Gandhinagar. “Right from the days of Jan Sangh he raised this banyan tree that is the BJP and dedicated his entire life to the nation”, Rupani said in a message adding that his void would never be filled.

Expressing grief, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called Patel an “outstanding leader who cared for every section of society.” “Our beloved and respected Keshubhai has passed away…I am deeply pained and saddened. His life was devoted towards the progress of Gujarat and the empowerment of every Gujarati,” he tweeted. Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani paid tributes to the BJP stalwart saying Patel’s death is a huge loss for the people of Gujarat.

Born in Visavadar town of Junagadh district in 1928, Patel joined the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in 1945 as a pracharak. He started his political career as a worker for the Jan Sangh. Patel was also the chairman of the Shree Somnath Trust, which manages the famous Somnath temple in Saurashtra region.

A warhorse, Patel had led a front against the then chief minister Narendra Modi-led BJP to contest the general elections in Gujarat in 2012.


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