The Congress Working Committee (CWC) on Friday passed resolutions lauding party leaders Ahmed Patel and Tarun Gogoi for their roles in the organisation and underscored the message of discipline in the party. The highest decision-making body of the Congress met virtually under the chairmanship of party chief Sonia Gandhi and condoled the demise of the two leaders. Both Gogoi, a former Assam chief minister, and Patel, who was the party’s treasurer, were members of the CWC.
Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and other party leaders lauded the stellar roles played by Patel and Gogoi. While Sonia Gandhi said no one could replace Patel, Rahul lauded him for coming out with a solution for every problem. While the resolution on Gogoi was moved by former prime minister Manmohan Singh, the one on Patel was moved by Mukul Wasnik and read out.
“The Congress Working Committee expresses its profound shock and grief at the untimely demise of Shri Ahmed Patel, a long-serving MP and the treasurer of the Congress party,” the resolution said. The CWC said Patel was an integral part of the organisation for nearly four decades, contributing in manifold ways as Youth Congress worker, Gujarat PCC president, AICC member, CWC member, political secretary to the Congress president, and treasurer.
“At every step of its journey in guiding the Congress Party, the CWC will go forward with a sense of duty and discipline. That is the only way that Shri Patel, or Ahmedbhai, would have wanted us to conduct our affairs,” the resolution said saluting Patel’s contribution. In each of the responsibilities that he assumed, he brought to bear a great sense of dedication, commitment and purpose, always keeping the interests of the party paramount, it said.
“Such was his selfless service to the party that he won thousands of friends, admirers and supporters not only within the party but across the political spectrum,” the resolution said. “Shri Patel’s signal contribution was his unique capacity to reconcile competing aspirations and forge unity and comradeship among leaders and members of the party. He carried this remarkable talent to reconcile competing aspirations of other political parties as well and to forge coalitions at the Centre and in the states,” the CWC added.
The resolution said Patel was a pillar of strength to the two coalition governments that were led by the Congress during 2004-2014. “Ahmedbhai had no personal ambition. The interest of the Congress was his only interest and the advancement of the Congress’ agenda was his only agenda. He was deeply religious but secular to the core. Ahmedbhai’s simplicity, austerity, accessibility and generosity were legendary,” it added.
Remembering Gogoi, the CWC resolution said, “The Congress Working Committee deeply mourns the demise of Shri Tarun Gogoi, one of the stalwarts of the Congress party for nearly four decades.” It said Gogoi was the tallest leader of Assam and of the northeastern region. He was, for many years, the authentic voice of the region, its people and their aspirations, the CWC added. “As a Congress worker, MP for six terms, Union minister, president of Assam PCC, and chief minister for three consecutive terms (2001-2016), he epitomised the fundamental values of the Congress party and was its proud standard bearer,” it said.