Priya Dutt urged to fight polls

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

Mum­bai: A week af­ter she wrote to Congress chief Rahul Gandhi ex­press­ing her in­abil­ity to con­test the Lok Sabha elec­tion, Priya Dutt was on Mon­day urged by the city Congress unit led by San­jay Niru­pam to re­con­sider her de­ci­sion.

Niru­pam said she was urged to re­con­sider her de­ci­sion at a meet­ing at­tended by for­mer chief min­is­ters Ashok Cha­van and Prithvi­raj Cha­van and other se­nior Congress politi­cians. “Priya Dutt did not at­tend the meet­ing. Ac­tivists from her con­stituency, North Cen­tral, felt that the Mum­bai Congress should urge her to re­con­sider her de­ci­sion,” Niru­pam said.

In the 2014 Lok Sabha elec­tion, Priya Dutt had lost North Cen­tral to BJP nom­i­nee Poonam Ma­ha­jan. Since then, she had not taken ac­tive in­ter­est in Congress pro­grammes. Ac­tor Nagma Mo­rarji ex­pressed a de­sire to con­test from North Cen­tral, while the Congress pro­posed for­mer cricket cap­tain Mo­hammed Azharud­din’s name.

A se­nior Congress politi­cian said can­di­dates for all six par­lia­men­tary con­stituen­cies might have been dis­cussed in the meet­ing. Milind De­ora, who lost to Shiv Sena nom­i­nee Arvind Sawant the last time, is the only nom­i­nee for South Mum­bai, while for South Cen­tral, for­mer Mum­bai Uni­ver­sity vicechan­cel­lor Bhalchan­dra Mungekar and Ek­nath Gaik­wad were the front-run­ners. Gaik­wad had lost to Shiv Sena’s Rahul She­wale in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. From North West, Niru­pam is the front-run­ner.

In the 2014 polls, Congress nom­i­nee Gu­ru­das Ka­mat had lost to Shiv Sena’s Ga­janan Kir­tikar. From Mum­bai North, while Congress may be con­sid­er­ing ac­tor Raj Bab­bar, it may fied for­mer coun­cil­lor Nanub­hai Soda if the film star re­fuses.

The party lead­er­ship was urged to to re­con­sider its de­ci­sion to al­lot North East to NCP. In 2014 , NCP’s San­jay Patil had lost to BJP’s Kirit So­maiyya.

Niru­pam said dis­trict Congress com­mit­tees will meet on Jan­uary 21, 22 and 23 to short-list nom­i­nees, while the pradesh elec­tion com­mit­tee will meet on Jan­uary 28 and 29 un­der Ashok Cha­van’s chair­man­ship.

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