Congress veteran Gurudas Kamat, a Nehru-Gandhi family loyalist who was known for his forthrightness throughout his career spanning over four decades, died in New Delhi on August 22, 2018 after suffering a heart attack. He was 63. The mortal remains of Congress leader Gurudas Kamat was brought to Mumbai on the same night. Maharashtra Congress chief Ashok Chavan, Opposition Leader in state Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil and other leaders were present at the Mumbai airport. All pictures/Sameer Markande
According to a family friend, Gurudas Kamat complained of severe chest pain while having his morning tea at his home. He called out his driver who rushed him to a hospital in Chanakyapuri where he died within minutes. Gurudas Kamat is survived by wife Maharookh and son Sunil
The former Congress general secretary Gurudas Kamat's body was kept at his Chembur residence between 8 am and 10:30 am where Congress workers paid their last respects. UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi visited the hospital in New Delhi where Kamat passed away and placed a wreath on his body
In picture: Vinod Tawde pays his last respects to Gurudas Kamat
Congress President Rahul Gandhi, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, among other leaders, condoled the death of Gurudas Kamat
In picture: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis pays his last respects to Gurudas Kamat
Describing Gurudas Kamat, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said that the Congress leader was as a man of excellent organisational skills who was committed to the masses. Kamat had an excellent rapport with the citizens of Mumbai and he used to take the lead in solving problems plaguing the megapolis, Fadnavis said in his condolence message. "He not only had excellent organisational capabilities, but was also well read and would take a firm stand over issues. His contribution towards different sectors through his politics is commendable...we have lost a leader who was closely associated with the masses."
Final rites of Gurudas Kamat were carried out at Chembur crematorium with state honours. Respected across party lines, the late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had picked Gurudas Kamat as part of a four-member official delegation to the UN in 2003 along with former Prime Minister I.K. Gujral and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah. Gurudas Kamat represented former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the UN International Conference on Federalism in Addis Ababa in 2010
A five-time Lok Sabha member from Mumbai, Gurudas Kamat served as Union Minister of State for Home in 2009 but abruptly resigned in 2011 citing "personal reasons" after his appointment as Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Drinking Water and Sanitation. Gurudas Kamat served as Union Minister of State for Communications and IT
Gurudas Kamat resigned from the Congress in 2016 over his reported unhappiness with the functioning of the local party unit in Mumbai but was persuaded by the top leadership to withdraw it. In April 2017, he sprang another surprise by quitting all party posts though he remained a staunch Congressman till the end
Born in North Canara district's Ankola village in Karnataka and educated in Mumbai, he was a lawyer by qualification, regarded an able organiser and a good orator. Gurudas Kamat was President of the party's student wing NSUI (1976-1980), Indian Youth Congress chief (1987-88), Mumbai Congress President (2003-08) and later served the party as a General Secretary
Rahul Gandhi, who is in Germany, tweeted: "The sudden passing away of Kamatji is a massive blow to the Congress family. Gurudasji helped build the Congress in Mumbai and was greatly respected and admired by all." Manmohan Singh said: "I am shocked and saddened to learn about the sudden and untimely demise of Gurudas Kamat"
Sharad Pawar said the country had "lost a leader who knew the pulse of Mumbaikars and would always voice their concern in Parliament"
Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge wrote to Gurudas Kamat's son: "I am extremely saddened to learn about the demise of your beloved father... He was a dedicated public servant and a mass leader of Maharashtra. He will be missed by the country and Congress in Maharashtra."
A pall of gloom descended at the Mumbai Congress headquarters near Azad Maidan - which Kamat headed for several years - with many senior leaders and activists seen breaking down
Shiv Sena legislator Manisha Kayande said Gurudas Kamat remained true to his party till the end. A man of principles, he was a true Congressman who was very popular in the city, she said. "He could have done much more for the Congress but he was sidelined by the current Mumbai party president," Kayande claimed
Mumbai Congress President Sanjay Nirupam said, "It is an irreparable loss. Kamatji took pains to build up the Mumbai Congress and maintained contact with all the grassroots workers"
Congress legislator Sanjay Dutt said Gurudas Kamat was a dynamic and result-oriented leader, whose loyalty to the party and its leadership would keep inspiring the party workers
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP from Mumbai North-East Kirit Somaiya said: "We have lost a gentleman politician, an MP always active for the betterment of Mumbai though we contested Lok Sabha elections against each other"
On Tuesday evening, Gurudas Kamat had greeted party leader Ahmed Patel on his birthday and congratulated him for his re-appointment as Congress treasurer. In his last tweet hours before the end, Gurudas Kamat extended his greetings to the people on Eid-ul-Azha
In picture: Vinod Tawde (L)
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Congress leaders like Ashok Chavan, Sanjay Nirupam, family members and supporters bid a tearful adieu to former Union Minister and senior Congress leader Gurudas Kamat who died in a private hospital in New Delhi following a massive heart attack on August 22, 2018. We have pictures