Sack Nirupam, Deora aides urge Rahul
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.