No Sur­prise, Knives Out in Congress

The Economic Times - - Civic Polls: New Equation - CL.Manoj@ times­

New Delhi: Knives were out for Mum­bai city Congress chief San­jay Nirupam — the ex-Shiv Sainik hand-picked by Congress vice-pres­i­dent Rahul Gandhi de­spite stiff op­po­si­tion from se­nior party mem­bers — min­utes af­ter the party’s dev­as­tat­ing per­for­mance in the BMC polls. Talk­ing to ET from Mum­bai, AICC gen­eral sec­re­tary Gu­ru­das Ka­mat said, “Congress has been dec­i­mated in Mum­bai be­cause that was ex­actly what San­jay Nirupam was ca­pa­ble of do­ing to the party. I was shocked to see the shoddy prepa­ra­tions he made for Congress elec­tion­eer­ing. It con­vinced me that he was work­ing to en­sure the worst de­feat for the party. I had told many col­leagues in pri­vate that we would barely cross 30 seats and I’m not sur­prised by the re­sult.”

On Nirupam’s al­le­ga­tions that se­nior Congress lead­ers did not co­op­er­ate with him, Ka­mat said, “Peo­ple like me who have spent our en­tire po­lit­i­cal life work­ing for Congress, don’t need lessons from a Johnny come lately like San­jay Nirupam. Never in my 40 years’ as­so­ci­a­tion with the Congress has any­one ac­cused me of in­dulging in anti-party ac­tiv­i­ties.” A for­mer chief of Mum­bai Congress him­self, Ka­mat ac­cused Nirupam of mis­lead­ing the lead­er­ship. “About four weeks back, Nirupam came told me the party was in for a big de­feat and that I should help him out. I as­sured him of all help, in­clud­ing cam­paign­ing. Yet in a week, I was shocked to see Nirupam telling Rahulji straight face, dur­ing our meet­ing, ‘I (Nirupam) will de­liver Mum­bai for Congress’. Later, I asked him what had changed in a week for him to make such a false claim be­fore Rahulji.” Ka­mat ques­tioned Nirupam’s ide­o­log­i­cal com­pat­i­bil­ity and pre­sentabil­ity to lead Congress and in­spire work­ers.

FILE PHOTO Congress vet­eran Gu­ru­das Ka­mat

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