Various theories are doing the rounds behind former union minister Gurudas Kamat’s sudden decision to retire from active politics, particularly one connected to Gujarat, although the senior Congress leader has denied any fall-out with the party high command - Sonia and Rahul Gandhi. Meanwhile several party leaders and workers are making attempts to reach out to Kamat and persuade him to withdraw his resignation.

Senior Congress leader Gurudas Kamat tweeted yesterday that although he was retiring from politics, he would continue with social work. File pic
Senior Congress leader Gurudas Kamat tweeted yesterday that although he was retiring from politics, he would continue with social work. File pic

Neglecting Kamat in the matters related to Mumbai is definitely one of the reasons behind his resignation, said a senior leader from New Delhi, but he added that it was more to do with another BJP-ruled state where Kamat was in charge as the Congress general secretary – Gujarat. Other than Gujarat, Kamat has been in charge of another BJP-led state Rajasthan and some union territories as well.

“It’s a top level matter concerning party high-command. Mumbai is just one of the reasons that prompted Kamat to take the extreme step,” said the senior leader, requesting anonymity.

According to him, the Congress leadership wanted some other leader to replace Kamat as the general secretary in charge in Gujarat, in view of some important development in the recent past. Under Kamat’s leadership, the Congress has done well in Gujarat’s local body elections. The state will have the Assembly polls next year, and Kamat was expected to once again lead a good show against the BJP. However, in a sudden development on Monday, Kamat not only quit the Congress, but also declared his retirement from active politics. Congress circles in Mumbai fear that Kamat’s absence from city politics could dent the party’s prospects in the BMC polls next year.

'Gandhis didn't reply'
Kamat did not even meet his supporters who turned up at his Chembur residence, but he sent a message to them pleading his loyalty to the Gandhi family. “I would like to emphasise that I have the highest respect and regard for Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi and my resignation is purely on personal grounds,” he said. He added that he must take a backseat so others could get more opportunities.

On Monday, Kamat said that he had met Sonia about 10 days ago and expressed a desire to resign from all party posts. He added that the Gandhis had not replied to his resignation letter, hence he decided to retire from politics.

“Subsequently, I sent letters to both Soniaji and Rahulji [saying] that I would like to exit. Since there was no reply, I have formally informed that I would like to retire from politics.”