NEW DELHI: Senior Congress leader and Mumbai strongman Gurudas Kamat on Monday sprung a surprise, resigning from the primary membership of the party and retiring from politics. The Gandhi family loyalist is a former MP.
Coming on a day when Chhattisgarh heavyweight Ajit Jogi resigned from the Congress to float his own outfit, the party suffered a double whammy ahead of the much anticipated ‘surgery’ to anoint Rahul Gandhi as party president.
Kamat, 61, has been in a sulk since party V-P Rahul chose Sanjay Nirupam over him to manage party affairs in Mumbai. One indication of his mood came when he chose not to be present during Rahul’s whistle-stop tour of Mumbai in April, citing medical advice. Apparently Kamat does not see a political future for himself if Rahul is elevated. The last straw perhaps was the Maharashtra Rajya Sabha ticket going to outsider P Chidambaram as there were too many claimants in the State.
Kamat, who has been with the Congress for over 44 years, said he met Congress president Sonia Gandhi nearly 10 days ago wanting to resign. “Subsequently I sent letters to both Soniaji and Rahulji that I would like to exit. Since there was no reply I have formally informed that I would like to retire from politics,” he said.
In Chhattisgarh, former CM Jogi was equally upset at the expulsion of his son Amit from the Congress after audio tapes purportedly indicated his involvement in fixing a bypoll in the State in favour of BJP.
“I am independent now...I have the blessings of people and well wishers..,” Jogi told a gathering of about 10,000 people at Kotmi village in his son’s Marwahi constituency where he released the ‘Kotmi Declaration’.
“Now, the decisions of Chhattisgarh will be taken in Chhattisgarh only... it has been decided to form a new party. The new party will be Chhattisgarh’s own party,” the declaration said.