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Congress Faces Discontent over Ticket Distribution Ahead of Elections in Maharashtra and Haryana

While former Haryana Congress chief Ashok Tanwar quit the election committees of the party, the Mumbai Congress's former chief Sanjay Nirupam said he would not take part in the election campaign after the name he recommended for the polls was "rejected".


Updated:October 3, 2019, 11:28 PM IST
Congress Faces Discontent over Ticket Distribution Ahead of Elections in Maharashtra and Haryana
Representative image.

New Delhi: The Congress faces discontent in both Haryana and Maharashtra over ticket distribution ahead of the Assembly polls, with the former chiefs of the party's units resigning from the election committees on Thursday and deciding to stay away from their respective campaigns.

A day after protesting outside Congress president Sonia Gandhi's residence in Delhi over alleged irregularities in ticket distribution, former Haryana Congress chief Ashok Tanwar quit the election committees of the party but said he would continue to work as an ordinary party worker.

Fissures in the Mumbai unit of the Congress over the ticket distribution for the Maharashtra Assembly polls also surfaced on Thursday as its former chief Sanjay Nirupam announced he would not take part in the party's campaign after the name he had recommended was "rejected".

Nirupam, who joined the Congress after he quit the Shiv Sena in 2005, said the party was trying to push him out through such actions.

Friday is the last day for nominations to the Assembly polls in the two states on October 21.

In his letter to Sonia Gandhi, Tanwar alleged that the Congress in Haryana had turned into "Hooda Congress" as those who worked against the party's interests in the last five years have been given prominence over those who struggled to strengthen the opposition party in the state.

"I am writing this letter with immense pain to inform you that after due consideration and exhausting all available avenues to get my voice heard. I have not been left with any other option but to resign from the responsibilities you have assigned me as member of various committees for Haryana assembly elections," Tanwar said.

He, however, said he will continue his duties as primary member of the Congress party.

Infighting in the Haryana Congress reached the doorstep of Gandhi on Wednesday after Tanwar and his supporters protested outside her residence, alleging corruption in distribution of tickets.

Tanwar said party workers are alleging corruption in ticket distribution, but did not spell out any details. He said if need be, he would give adequate proof to Gandhi.

"The way ticket distribution has been done is not as per practice and laid rules," he said, asking the party to spell out the criterion for allocation of tickets.

Asked if he would campaign for the party, Tanwar said he would assess it as and when someone requires him for campaigning, he would take a call accordingly.

But he did not rule out his supporters contesting against the Congress nominees, saying it would be their own call and he cannot influence them.

Nirupam, a former MP, said the way the Congress leadership was behaving with him the time to say goodbye to the party was "not far away".

"It seems Congress Party doesn't want my services anymore. I had recommended just one name in Mumbai for Assembly elections. Heard that even that has been rejected. As I had told the leadership earlier, in that case I will not participate in poll campaign. It's my final decision," Nirupam said on Twitter without naming any of the city leaders.

Nirupam also did not specify the name of the contender he was pushing for.

"I hope that the day has not yet come to say goodbye to party. But the way leadership is behaving with me, it doesn't seem far away," he said in another tweet.

Nirupam was replaced as the city Congress chief ahead of the Lok Sabha polls in March this year following complaints by a section of party leaders that he functioned in "unilateral" manner.

Former Union minister Milind Deora had replaced Nirupam. However, Deora resigned from the post last month following the party's debacle in the general elections. The party could not win even a single seat out of the six in Mumbai.

Former MP Eknath Gaikwad is the acting president of the city unit at present.

(With inputs from PTI)

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