Former Union minister Gurudas Kamat on Monday said he was resigning from the Congress party and retiring from politics altogether. In a text message to several party workers, Kamat, a popular leader from Mumbai, said he had written to Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Vice President Rahul Gandhi ten days ago saying he would like to quit. “Since there was no reply, I have formally informed that I would like to retire from politics,” the message said.

However, a day after his announcement, Kamat clarified, "I would also like to emphasise that I have the highest respect and regard for Congress President Sonia Gandhi and VP Rahul Gandhi and my resignation is purely on personal grounds," according to The Indian Express.

The move was widely seen as surprising, given Kamat was known to be close to the Gandhis. There was speculation that he was miffed at being sidelined by the party in Mumbai of late. He was also conspicuous by his absence at the Deonar dumping ground when Rahul Gandhi visited it earlier this year. His resignation is significant with civic polls scheduled for the city next year.