Sack Niru­pam, De­ora aides urge Rahul

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

Mum­bai: Sup­port­ers of former MP Milind De­ora, led by se­nior Congress leader Kripa Shankar Singh, met Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Fri­day to seek the re­moval of Mum­bai Congress chief San­jay Niru­pam for his al­leged au­to­cratic style of func­tion­ing.

The del­e­ga­tion also com­prised leg­is­la­tors Amin Pa­tel, Bhai Jag­tap, Ja­nar­dan Chan­durkar and former MP Ek­nath Gaik­wad. They met Gandhi in the pres­ence of AICC gen­eral sec­re­taries Ashok Gehlot and Ma­likar­jun Kharge.

Amonth ago, they had met Kharge to de­mand im­me­di­ate dis­missal of Niru­pam al­leg­ing that he had failed to lead the party in Mum­bai and if he is not re­moved it would be a bad sit­u­a­tion for the Congress in the Lok Sabha polls. Kharge had asked them to knock at the doors of Gandhi, fol­low­ing which they called on him on Fri­day.

“We brought to the no­tice of Rahul Gandhi that in larger in­ter­est of the party, it was high time Niru­pam was re­placed by De­ora. Oth­er­wise, it will be dif­fi­cult for the party to win the Lok Sabha elec­tions. We told Gandhi that ow­ing to Niru­pam’s au­to­cratic style of func­tion­ing, grass-roots level work­ers are mov­ing away from the party,” a se­nior Congress leader said.

Niru­pam re­acted sharply to the de­mand and said it was for Rahul to take a de­ci­sion. “I have been ap­pointed Mum­bai Congress pres­i­dent by Gandhi. I am loyal to the party and I will abide by his de­ci­sion. As of now, there are no in­struc- tions to me,’’ Niru­pam said.

Ever since Niru­pam took over the reins of the Mum­bai Congress, a sec­tion of se­nior lead­ers are press­ing for his re­moval and ap­point­ment of De­ora in his place. De­ora, who lost the 2014 Lok Sabha polls to Shiv Sena’s Arvind Sawant, is the son of late Murli De­ora, who led the Mum­bai Congress for more than a decade.

Ase­nior party leader said that while Rahul Gandhi was non-com­mit­tal on the de­mand for Niru­pam’s re­moval , he may not oblige in view of the en­su­ing Lok Sabha polls.

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