New Delhi, Aug 22: Senior Congress leader Gurudas Kamat died today after a brief illness, party sources said. He was 63. The former Union minister died at Primus hospital in Delhi, where he was admitted early today.
Kamat was taken to Primus Hospital in Chanakyapuri around 7 am, after he complained of breathlessness, but he died on the way.
Kamat is survived by his wife Maharookh and a son, Sunil, said a close family friend.
According to the friend, while having his morning tea at his New Delhi home, Kamat suddenly complained of severe chest pain.
He called out to his driver who rushed him to the Primus Hospital in Chanakyapuri where he is said to have succumbed within minutes.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi visited the hospital and paid her last respects to the departed leader.
His sudden death sent shock waves in the Congress, with former president Pranab Mukherjee expressing shock over his untimely demise.
“Shocked and pained at the sudden and untimely demise of Shri Gurudas Kamat. A colleague in the government and the party for many years, his passing away at such young age is tragic,” Mukherjee said in a tweet.
Home minister Rajnath Singh also expressed his anguish. “Anguished by the sudden demise of former Union minister and senior Congress leader Shri Gurudas Kamat. He was a seasoned leader who had also served the nation as the MoS in the MHA. My thoughts are with his family and supporters,” he said on Twitter.
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said, “Shocked and deeply anguished to learn about the sudden demise of Congress Leader Sh Gurudas Kamat ji. No words are enough to describe the sense of loss. My deepest condolences to his family, friends and followers. I pray for the departed soul.”
Close aides Dharmesh Vyas and Ketan Shah in Mumbai said they could not believe the news and felt as if “they had lost their elder brother and guiding light”.
Kamat was a Member of Parliament for the Mumbai North West constituency in 2009 and the Mumbai North East constituency in 1984, 1991, 1998 and 2004.
He was Union Minister of State for Home Affairs with an additional charge of the Communications and Information Technology ministry from 2009 to 2011. In July 2011, he resigned as the minister.
He was also a former president of the Mumbai Regional Congress Committee.
An advocate by profession, Kamat was a commerce graduate from the R A Podar College in Mumbai and also had a law degree from the Government Law College here.