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Decisions are taken for the party, not a person – Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh justifies giving away Ahmed Patel’s bastion Bharuch to AAP in Lok Sabha polls

Jairam Ramesh's statement came after Ahmed Patel's daughter Mumtaz shared her disappointment at the party's decision to give the ticket away to AAP.

On Sunday, 25th February, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh justified giving away late Congress leader Ahmed Patel’s bastion, Bharuch, to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for the 2024 Lok Sabha Elections. His statement came after Ahmed Patel’s daughter Mumtaz shared her disappointment at the party’s decision to give the ticket away to AAP.

Speaking to news agency ANI, Ramesh said, “The party has to make some tough decisions considering the bigger picture. Even I was a little disappointed, but decisions are made for the party, not a particular person.”

Earlier, on 24th February, Congress and AAP announced seat sharing in several states, including Gujarat and Punjab, for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Ahmed Patel, Congress’s veteran leader who died in 2020 of COVID-19-related complications, had started his political career in Bharuch in 1976, contesting the local body polls. Since then, he climbed the stairs to become one of the most prominent leaders in the party, and Bharuch became his bastion. However, Congress and AAP came to an understanding that the AAP candidate would contest the seat in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, which led to waves of criticism from several Congress leaders, and Ahmed Patel’s children.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) also reacted to the development and hit out at Congress for not treating its leaders equally. In a post on X, BJP’s IT Cell head Amit Malviya said, “In the Congress, one dynasty is more equal than the others. Everyone knows of the differences between the late Ahmed Patel and Rahul Gandhi. Giving away Bharuch to AAP is Rahul Gandhi’s attempt to erase his legacy and humiliate the family. Gandhis believe in use and throw,” while sharing a post of Ahmed’s daughter Mumtaz.

In an emotional post on X, Ahmed Patel’s daughter Mumtaz apologised to the Congress cadre for being unable to secure the Bharuch seat. She wrote, “We won’t let Ahmed Patel’s 45 years of legacy go in vain.” She used the hashtag “Bharuch ki beti (daughter of Bharuch)” in the post.

Ahmed Patel was a close aide of Sonia Gandhi and was often seen as a troubleshooter for the top Congress leader.

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