Ex-MP Sanjay Nirupam skins Congress for ‘total surrender’ to Shiv Sena (UBT); may rebel

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | March 27, 2024 IST

NIRUPAM

Mumbai, March 27 : Veteran Congress leader and ex-MP Sanjay Nirupam on Wednesday whiplashed his own party leadership, alleging an abject ‘surrender’ to the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) ally, Shiv Sena (UBT), headed by former Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.

Nirupam (59) launched a broadside at the Congress and SS (UBT) after the latter announced its list of 16 Lok Sabha candidates, including the Mumbai North West seat which he (Nirupam) had coveted.

The SS (UBT) has fielded Amol G. Kirtikar -- an accused in the infamous ‘khichdi scam’ of the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation and the son of rival Shiv Sena MP Gajanan Kirtikar -- as its candidate for Mumbai North West, taking the MVA allies Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (SP) by surprise.

“I will not support such a ‘khichdi chor’ (thief) candidate… He has been unilaterally thrust upon Congress by the SS (UBT). We hope the (Congress) -- which adopts a ‘high moral ground’ vis-a-vis corruption -- lodges its strong protest with Thackeray for the tainted nominee (Amol Kirtikar),” Nirupam said.

Launching a veiled attack at Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge, state Congress chief Nana Patole, and the party's Mumbai head Varsha Gaikwad – without taking names – Nirupam said the party has abandoned its lakhs of activists all over the city, state and the country.

“The leadership does seem to be bothered about its workers… The Congress talks of ‘Nyay’ (justice) to various sections of society, but injustice is being meted out to its own workers. Enough is enough…no more. Now it will be a decisive move for me,” Nirupam said.

Turning to the SS (UBT), the former three-term MP said that by announcing Amol Kirtikar’s name for Mumbai North West, Thackeray has thrown a challenge at the Congress, which failed to carry out tough negotiations in the seat-charing talks.

“The SS (UBT) is not as powerful as perceived... It cannot win a single seat in Maharashtra without Congress' support. Yet, it has pressurised us and that is highly condemnable. But the Congress did not retaliate though seats were snatched away by SS (UBT). Our leadership even failed to save Mumbai, Sangli, and other seats,” said Nirupam.

He alleged that the move by Thackeray indicates ‘a hidden agenda’ to finish off the Congress in the state and bury it in Mumbai – both places where it held sway for decades in the past.

“We have shown enough patience, but not anymore. I was waiting to be called for Mumbai North West which I was keen to fight. All options are open for me. I will announce my next move in the coming week or so,” said Nirupam, signaling a banner of revolt.

Amid the attack by Nirupam, other senior party leaders, including Congress Legislative Party (CLP) leader Balasaheb Thorat, expressed strong disapproval at the SS (UBT) for announcing candidates for Mumbai and Sangli seats where discussions are still going on.

“The SS (UBT) must adhere to the principles of coalition sincerely… There’s time even now. We hope they will reconsider their decision,” urged Thorat, as the matter reverberated to the central party leadership in Delhi.

Similarly, the NCP (SP) has also expressed its strong displeasure at the 16-candidate first list announced by the SS (UBT), even before the seat-sharing talks are completed amicably. (IANS)


 

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