Priya Dutt urged to fight polls
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.