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Won't Take Part in Poll Campaign, Says Congress' Sanjay Nirupam Ahead of Maharashtra Elections

Sanjay Nirupam is known to wield considerable influence in Mumbai North and had even unsuccessfully contested the 2014 elections from the constituency.


Updated:October 3, 2019, 6:20 PM IST
Sanjay Nirupam
File photo of Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam.

New Delhi: Pointing to deepening fissures in the Congress in Mumbai just weeks ahead of the Maharashtra polls on October 21, former Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam on Thursday said that he will not take part in the poll campaign as his recommendations to the party have been rejected.

“It seems Congress party doesn’t want my services anymore. I had recommended just one name in Mumbai for the Assembly election. Heard that even that has been rejected. As I had told the leadership earlier, in that case I will not participate in the poll campaign,” he wrote in a twee without naming any leaders.

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

Speaking to CNN-News18, he said, "Being a senior member of the Congress party, I deserve some respect. I only suggested one name for the Maharashtra assembly polls, that too was rejected. Three lists have been released till now, I had already told the senior leadership that if that name is not given the ticket, I won't be taking part in the election campaign. If this is indiscipline, the party can take action against me".

Criticising the top leadership, Nirupam said,"The future of Congress in Mumbai is very bad as incompetent people are on the driving seat."

However, on a conciliatory note he added that the day has not yet come to say goodbye to the party. “But the way the leadership is behaving with me, it doesn’t seem far away,” he said in another tweet.

Nirupam is known to wield considerable influence in Mumbai North and had even unsuccessfully contested the 2014 elections from the constituency. He was replaced as the city Congress chief ahead of the Lok Sabha polls in March following complaints by a section of party leaders that he functioned in a "unilateral" manner.

Former Union minister Milind Deora had replaced Nirupam. However, Deora had 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.

Earlier on Thursday, Nitesh Rane, son of former Maharashtra chief minister Narayan Rane, jumped ship to the BJP ahead of the state polls.

The infighting in the Mumbai Congress has been public since actor-turned-politician Urmila Matondkar resigned from the grand old party last month. Then, senior leader Milind Deora had trained his guns at Nirupam and indirectly blamed him, saying Matondkar had been let down by “those who brought her into the party. Fully agree that Mumbai North leaders must be held accountable”.

It was Nirupam who had brought Matondkar to the party fold. But during her Lok Sabha campaign earlier this year, she had pinned the blame of her failure on two local Congress leaders close to Nirupam.

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