City Cong lead­ers meet Rahul, de­mand Niru­pam’s re­moval

They tried to con­vince the party pres­i­dent that San­jay Niru­pam had be­come a li­a­bil­ity rather than a strength ahead of the elec­tions

Mid Day - - CITY - DHAR­MEN­DRA JORE dhar­men­dra.jore@mid-day.com A Congress leader

A MOVE­MENT within the Mum­bai Congress, for de­mand­ing city unit chief San­jay Niru­pam’s re­moval, has gained mo­men­tum with se­nior lead­ers mak­ing a plea to party pres­i­dent Rahul Gandhi, that a change in com­mand would be good for the party.

Nine lead­ers met Gandhi in the cap­i­tal on Fri­day af­ter­noon for over 40 min­utes in which they read out rea­sons for rais­ing the de­mand. State in-charge Mal­likar­jun Kharge and AICC gen­eral sec­re­tary Ashok Gehlot were present at the meet­ing. The first step in the anti-Niru­pam drive was com­pleted in Mum­bai a fort­night ago, when the lo­cal lead­ers had met here. Kharge had col­lected the in­puts to take the is­sue be­fore the party pres­i­dent. Ac­cord­ing to sources, se­nior lead­ers Ek­nath Gaik­wad, Naseem Khan, Kripa Shankar Singh, Ja­nar­dan Chan­durkar, Amin Pa­tel, Baba Sid­diqui, Bhai Jag­tap, Madhu Cha­van, and city youth unit pres­i­dent Ganesh Yadav in­ter­acted with Gandhi.

‘Doesn’t con­sult se­niors’

One of the at­ten­dees said the meet­ing was very pos­i­tive. “The party pres­i­dent gave us a pa­tient lis­ten­ing and al­lowed us to rea­son be­fore him. All of us talked in the in­ter­est of the party and tried to con­vince him (Gandhi) why Niru­pam had be­come a li­a­bil­ity rather than a strength ahead of the elec­tions,” said the leader.

An­other leader said Niru­pam’s con­tro­ver­sial con­duct, speeches and state­ments have been harm­ing the party more and more, and di­vid­ing its base on the lines of re­gion­al­ism, caste and re­li­gion. They men­tioned Niru­pam’s lat­est re­mark on north In­dian mi­grants, who ac­cord­ing to him, were able to bring Mum­bai to a stand­still if they de­cided to stop work­ing. The state­ment had evoked a strong re­ac­tion from within the Congress and other par­ties. “We told Mr Gandhi that Niru­pam is uni­lat­eral and doesn’t con­sult se­niors and party loy­al­ists be­fore tak­ing any de­ci­sion. We said that this man [Niru­pam] some­times acted like a non-Congress leader be­cause his con­duct, re­marks and so-called strat­egy helped the BJP and Sena more than his par­ent party,” said an­other at­tendee.

Who’s in the reck­on­ing

Other than for­mer min­is­ter Milind De­ora, who in­sid­ers said would be the first choice and ac­cept­able to all fac­tions in the city Congress, for­mer city chief Kripa Shankar Singh, too, is lob­by­ing hard for the po­si­tion. An­other name that sup­port­ers of the late Gu­ru­das Ka­mat want the job to be given to is the de­parted leader’s pro­tégé Amar­jeet Singh Man­has. How­ever, some lead­ers, ex­cept youth chief Yadav, who met Gandhi, are also as­pir­ing to be the city Congress pres­i­dent. De­ora said he would take up the re­spon­si­bil­ity if given the task by the party pres­i­dent.

Niru­pam said he had noth­ing to say about the de­vel­op­ment.

‘We told Mr Gandhi that this man [Niru­pam] some­times acted like a non-Congress leader be­cause his con­duct, re­marks and so-called strat­egy helped the BJP and Sena more than his par­ent party’

San­jay Niru­pam

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.