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A brief biography
Firebrand Congress leader and five-time MP from Mumbai Gurudas Kamat, who dominated the party’s city unit for long and was known to take on the Shiv Sena on its own turf, died in New Delhi after suffering a heart attack early Wednesday morning. He was 63.
Having started his political career as an NSUI and Youth Congress leader, Kamat rose to prominence in the Rajiv Gandhi era and, apart from his terms in the Lok Sabha, was Union minister of state for home for two years in the UPA-2 regime and later AICC general secretary.
He was in New Delhi to greet newly-appointed Congress treasurer Ahmed Patel on the eve of his birthday. After meeting Patel, he returned to his Chanakyapuri home and was to return to Mumbai on Wednesday morning for Eid celebrations but was rushed to hospital after he complained of breathlessness. He died on way to hospital, family sources said. Sonia Gandhi was the first leader to visit the hospital to pay her last respects to him.
A lawyer-turned politician, Kamat rose up the ranks in the Congress. Born in Akola in Karnataka, he entered active politics in 1972 when he was a student at R A Poddar College and later studied law at Government Law College. In 1976 he was appointed Mumbai president of the NSUI and in 1980 took over as general secretary of the Maharashtra Youth Congress. In 1984, the year in which he was first elected to LS from Mumbai northeast, he was made state Youth Congress president and then chief of the all-India Youth Congress in 1987.
Kamat defeated BJP leaders Pramod Mahajan and Jaywantiben Mehta in the LS polls and was in turn defeated by them.
He was seeking to make a comeback in the 2019 LS polls. From January 1, he had begun ward-wise meetings in the city’s northwest constituency.