Senior leader Gurudas Kamat dead, Congress stunned (Lead)

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Mumbai/New Delhi : Former Union Minister and senior Congress leader Gurudas Kamat passed away in a private hospital in New Delhi following a massive heart attack on Wednesday, party officials said. He was 63.

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.

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".

The youthful face of the party, Kamat, a five-time MP from Mumbai North-East Lok Sabha constituency, served as Union Minister of State for Home in 2009, later quit in 2011.

Later, he immersed in party affairs as the general secretary but suddenly quit all posts last year, though he remained a staunch Congressman till the end.

In a condolence message, Maharashtra Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant said "a very dynamic and renowned face of the Congress and a great leader Gurudas Kamat is no more".

Normally hale and hearty, Kamat on Tuesday night tweeted his Bakri Eid greetings to all saying: "Eid Mubarak to all my friends celebrating Eid-Al-Adha. May all your prayers be accepted. May peace, joy and happiness never depart from your lives and homes."