Mumbai: Infighting in Mumbai Congress clearly suggests that senior leaders of the party who are not campaigning in Mumbai are trying to elude responsibility in case of a debacle in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Council (BMC) elections.
After Narayan Rane and Gurudas Kamat declared that they would not participate in campaigning in Mumbai, now other leaders like Naseem Khan and Kripashankar Singh have also decided against campaigning for the election. These leaders are seen to be acting against Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam, who enjoys total control over party affairs for BMC elections from the party high command.
Sources close to Mr Khan and Mr Singh said both leaders are disturbed over the tickets distribution done by Mr Nirupam. Mumbai Congress on Friday declared its entire list of candidates for all 227 wards in BMC, in which the supporters of Mr Kamat, Mr Khan and Mr Singh were denied tickets. These leaders now complain of being sidelined in their constituencies and districts. As a result, they have come together to protest against Mr Nirupam.
However, ticket distribution is not the only issue. The anti-Nirupam lobby within Mumbai Congress has been trying to corner its city chief for the past few weeks. It was Mr Kamat who first came out openly against Mr Nirupam, which forced the Congress high command to send its emissary, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, to broker peace between the warring factions. However, that attempt was a complete failure.
Mr Rane, who was pushing for an alliance with Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) for BMC polls, later pulled out himself from the campaign fray, taunting that Mr Nirupam is “able enough to look after the election single-handedly”.