After the party high command convinced him to withdraw his resignation and resume work, Congress leader and former Union minister Gurudas Kamat announced he will continue working in the party under the leadership of Sonia Gandhi. Kamat had submitted a strongly worded resignation to the party office in Mumbai more than two weeks ago. Around 27 cvorporators, who supported him, had also threatened to quit. But they did not tender their resignations.
In a letter to his supporters, Kamat said on Thursday, his meeting with party president Sonia Gandhi helped him make up his mind that the Congress was the best platform to serve the people of the country. “In the past fortnight, a large number of senior party leaders tried to convince me to rethink the decision,” he has said. “I will continue to serve under the leadership of honourable Sonia Gandhi and honourable vice-president Rahul Gandhi. I will have the same charge of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Dadra Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu as I have been informed last night. I will start meeting people from the states from June 24 onwards.”
Kamat’s resignation was being seen as reflecting the internal factionalism within the party, especially his unhappiness with Mumbai chief Sanjay Nirupam. Most of his supporters had trained their guns on Nirupam for his allegedly autocratic style of working, following Kamat’s resignation. They also had claimed the party will have to pay the price of a rift between the leaders in the upcoming civic elections.
The factionalism within the Mumbai Congress unit between leaders Nirupam, Kamat and Milind Deora is likely to come at the cost of the party’s efforts.
Kamat had kept away from party programmes for more than two weeks. In a message sent to his supporters in the party, Kamat had then said, “I met party president Sonia Gandhi about 10 days ago and expressed my desire to resign. The meeting was followed by a letter written to Soniaji and vice-president Rahulji, but there was no response. Since there was no reply, I have formally informed them that I would like to retire from politics.”
Although party spokespersons claimed post this resignation that Kamat is a ‘valuable leader’ for the party, the high command restrained from showing any urgency in responding to the resignation. It is learnt that senior leaders, including Sushil Kumar Shinde, intervened to get Kamat back in the party fold.
Kamat is also the general secretary of the All-India Congress Committee and a member of Congress Working Committee.