New Delhi, July 13: President Pratibha Patil Wednesday accepted the resignation of Gurudas Kamat from the union Council of Ministers and assigned additional charge of the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation to Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh.
A Rashtrapati Bhavan press statement said Kamat’s resignation had been accepted by the President on the recommendation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
‘The President of India, on the recommendation of the Prime Minister, has accepted the resignation of Shri Gurudas Kamat from the Union Council of Ministers, with immediate effect and directed that Shri Jairam Ramesh, Minister of Rural Development shall be assigned the additional charge of the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation,’ the statement said.
Apparently peeved at not having been given a key portfolio, Kamat did not attend the swearing in for new ministers Tuesday and resigned after the ceremony.
Kamat Wednesday denied that he was applying ‘pressure tactics’ or seeking positions by choosing to quit as a minister at the centre and said he was quitting active politics.
‘It is a decision I have taken to voluntarily withdraw from active politics and would not want to be in any position either in the government or in the party, and would want to remain just an active congress worker,’ Kamat said in a statement in Mumbai.
He also said he was not engaged in ‘any backroom talks’ with any of the top party leaders.
He urged the media not to construe his decision to quit the union cabinet as being ‘sacked’ or being ‘threatened’ with action and consequently forced to resign.
‘None of this is true. Neither have I been sacked nor threatened. It is my own personal request to be relieved which the prime minister has done now,’ Kamat said.
He said his commitment to the Congress would continue as in the past 39 years as also his regard and respect for Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.