Gurudas KamatFormer Union Minister and ex-Congress Mumbai chief Gurudas Kamat on Monday announced that he was quitting politics.

The move comes ahead of next year’s Mumbai civic elections, where Congress would be seeking to dislodge the incumbent Shiv Sena-BJP combine.

In a statement to media this evening, 61-year-old Kamat said, “Dear friends, over the last more than 44 years I have worked with most of you and served the Congress. For several months now I have felt I need to take a backseat to enable others to get the opportunity.”

“I met the honourable Congress president about 10 days ago and expressed a desire to resign. Subsequently I sent letters to both Soniaji and Rahulji that I would like to exit.

“Since there was no reply I have formally informed that I would like to retire from politics. I … wish the best to the party leadership and each one of you,” he said in the statement.