Post loss, Congress blame game begins

Nirupam also declared that he had offered to tender in his resignation from the president's post.

Mumbai: Internal disputes in the Mumbai Congress spilled forth for the public to watch on the day of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) election results.

While former chief minister Narayan Rane blamed Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam as “the sole reason for the party’s defeat in the city,” Mr Nirupam took jibes at Mr Rane while briefing the media. Mr Nirupam also declared that he had offered to tender in his resignation from the president’s post.

The Asian Age on February 22 had reported on a storm brewing in Congress ahead of the poll results (‘Congress men roll sleeves for post election war’).

After the results of Congress started pouring in on Thursday, Mr Rane said, “Nirupam didn’t fight these elections to win. He was not even aware about issues in Mumbai and how party should raise these while campaigning. He is solely responsible for this defeat”. However, Mr Nirupam countered by saying, “He also had some seats. Why didn’t he win those at least?”

Talking about his resignation, Mr Nirupam said he had spoken to the party high command on Wednesday and said that in case Congress lost, he was ready “to take responsibility and offer his resignation”. He went on to add that while he was taking responsibility for the loss, he alone could not be blamed. “I cannot be the only one doing the good work. The party needs teamwork. Senior senior party leaders spread a lot of negativity before the elections, especially during campaigning. They leaked internal disputes of the party, which gave a bad name to the party,” he alleged.

As Congress came down from 52 seats in 2012 to 31 this time, Mr Nirupam had no option left but to resign. Names of his replacement also started doing the rounds. MLC Bhai Jagtap is the frontrunner for the post while other names including ex-minister Milind Deora’s are also doing the rounds in Congress circles.

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