New Delhi: Unhappy at the portfolio allocated to him in the cabinet reshuffle, Congress heavyweight from Maharashtra Gurudas Kamat, has written to Prime Minister and Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday to relive him from his ministerial duty. Earlier in the day he had skipped the swearing in ceremony.
In the new reshuffle, Gurudas Kamat was named as Minister of State (MoS) with Independent Charge of newly-created portfolio of Drinking Water and Sanitation. He was earlier minister of state for IT and communications -- and the junior minister for home affairs.
"This is to clarify that early this morning, I personally wrote to Hon`ble Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Hon`ble Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh to relieve me from my ministerial responsibility, expressing a desire to work in the party as an active party worker," he said in a press release issued in the evening from Mumbai.
“The reasons are totally personal and not any defiance of the party leadership",” he said.
Earlier today, the Congress had warned Kamat that he may lose his ministerial post if he does not attend the swearing in ceremony. "He won`t be a minister if he does not take the oath (for elevation)," Congress sources had said reacting on Kamat.
57-year-old Kamat, a five-time MP from Mumbai has in his four decade-long political career defeated some of the biggest names like Subramaniam Swamy, the late Pramod Mahajan and Jaywantiben Mehta.
Another Congress leader Srikant Jena, who was earlier Minister of State in the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers, was given the MoS independent charge of Statistics and Programme Implementation also reportedly skipped the swearing in ceremony.
61-year-old Jena, who is a four-time MP from Orissa and the state`s sole representative in the Union council of ministers is reportedly unhappy for not being given a Cabinet rank. He had served as Cabinet Minister in VP Singh led United Front government in 1996.
He started his political career under the leadership of former Orissa chief minister Biju Patnaik and is known for his fighting spirit. Jena, whose political career spanned over three decades, weathered the pro-BJD wave in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls to win the Balasore Lok Sabha constituency.