No Surprise, Knives Out in Congress
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