Cong faction meets Kharge, seeks Nirupam’s removal
Want Milind Deora At The Helm In City
Mumbai: Arch rivals of Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam on Sunday knocked on the doors of AICC general secretary Mallikarjun Kharge, who is also in-charge of Maharashtra, to demand his ouster “in larger interest of the party”.
Party leader Kripashankar Singh, accompanied by former minister Naseem Khan, legislators Amin Patel and Bhai Jagtap called on Kharge to press their demand for removal of Nirupam and appointment of former Lok Sabha member Milind Deora in his place.
A senior Congress leader said they apprised Kharge that under the leadership of Nirupam it would not be pos- sible to take on the BJP-Shiv Sena in the upcoming elections to the Lok Sabha and state assembly. “Kharge heard us and suggested we meet Congress president Rahul Gandhi,” he said.
Hours after the anti-Nirupam delegation met Kharge, a section of the Mumbai Congress chief ’s supporters led by the party’s city general secretary Bhushan Patil, too, met Kharge.
They told him those demanding Nirupam’s removal had distanced themselves from all party activities. A supporter said it was unfortunate that a section of leaders, who were on their way to BJP, were demanding Nirupam’s dismissal.
According to reports, Kharge ruled out a change in leadership. While Kharge did not respond to a message from TOI, Nirupam said, “Rahul Gandhi has appointed me and I am working on his instructions. I am working hard for the revival of the party and I am always on the streets for the cause of the common man. It is up to my leader to decide how long I will work as president. I am Rahul Gandhi’s loyalist and will abide by his instructions.”
Deora said he was aware a delegation had met Kharge. However, he said he was not aware of the details as he was in Delhi for an AICC meeting. “I have supported every Mumbai Congress president. If senior leaders are unhappy with him, they have every right to express their grievances,” Deora said in a text message to TOI.
Milind Deora (L) & Sanjay Nirupam