Naidu condoles Keshubhai's death

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New Delhi, Oct 29 (PTI) Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday condoled the death of former Gujarat chief minister Keshubhai Patel, saying he always championed the cause of farmers and took keen interest in bringing agricultural reforms.

Patel (92) died in Ahmedabad on Thursday after prolonged illness, family sources said. He was Gujarat's chief minister in 1995 and again during 1998-2001.

'News of the passing away of former Gujarat chief minister Keshubhai Patel is deeply saddening. He was a popular leader and dedicated his entire life in the service of the poor and downtrodden,' the vice president said in his condolence message.

Hailing from an agriculturist family, Keshubhai always championed the cause of farmers. He strove relentlessly for their welfare and took keen interest in bringing reforms in agriculture sector. Farmers and rural India held a very special place in his heart, Naidu recalled.

'Coming from a humble background, Keshubhai Patel reached the post of the chief minister of Gujarat only because of his hard work, down-to-earth nature, simplicity and exemplary leadership. Even as a chief minister, he was humble and easily approachable to everyone,' Naidu said.

With his passing away, the nation has lost a great leader, he said. PTI NAB SMN