Divide in Mumbai Congress as faction seeks removal of Sanjay Nirupam as city chief

Divide in Mumbai Congress as faction seeks removal of Sanjay Nirupam as city chief
Sanjay Nirupam had spearheaded the ‘Bharat Bandh’ in Mumbai, called forth by Congress to protest against the rising fuel prices

Several senior Mumbai Regional Congress Committee (MRCC) leaders met Maharashtra Congress in-charge Mallikarjun Kharge on Sunday to demand the removal of Sanjay Nirupam as the party’s Mumbai president.

The contingent – which included leaders Kripashankar Singh, Naseem Khan, Amin Patel, and Bhai Jagtap – recommended the name of former Lok Sabha MP, Milind Deora, for the post.

According to Congress sources, Kharge assured the leaders that he will put forth their demand before Congress president Rahul Gandhi.

Sources said that the MRCC leaders had sought a meeting with Rahul, however, the Congress president’s office asked them to meet Kharge instead, who was in Mumbai for the past two days for a parliamentary committee meet.

The leaders put forth a unanimous demand for a change in the MRCC president at the earliest to take on the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance in the upcoming Lok Sabha and the State Assembly elections due next year.

Apart from the disgruntled leaders, supporters of late Congress leader Gurudas Kamat were also a part of the delegation.

The supporters of the late leader were allegedly upset with Nirupam over his stance on crucial issues related to the party’s day to day functioning and the strategy for the BMC elections, including ticket distribution.

Hours after the meeting, a delegation led by Congress Mumbai general secretary Bhushan Patil also met Kharge.

The group expressed solidarity with Nirupam and alleged that the faction which raised concerns over the leadership was no longer loyal to the party.

When questioned about the development, Nirupam said that he was doing everything he could do to fulfill Rahul Gandhi’s vision for the city.

“Every other day I am on the street for the cause of Mumbaikars and I will keep on fighting for their cause too. It is up to my leaders to decide how long I have to work for the party as President. I am a Rahul Gandhi loyalist and will abide by all his instructions whatever he wishes.” he said in a statement.

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