Cong fac­tion meets Kharge, seeks Niru­pam’s re­moval

Want Milind De­ora At The Helm In City

The Times of India (Mumbai edition) - - TIMES CITY - Pra­fulla.Marpak­war @times­

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.

File photo

Milind De­ora (L) & San­jay Niru­pam

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