'Never Thought I'd Quit Congress:' Milind Deora Joins Shinde-led Shiv Sena

Milind Deora, son of veteran Congress leader Murli Deora, lost two successive Lok Sabha elections in 2014 and 2019.

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After stepping down and "ending his family's 55-year-old relationship" with the Congress party, former Union Minister Milind Deora on Sunday, 14 January, joined the Shiv Sena faction led by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde.

After joining the party in Shinde's presence, Deora told reporters in Mumbai, "This is a very emotional day for me. I had never thought that I would quit Congress. Today, I joined Shiv Sena."

Earlier today, Deora had quit the Congress even as the party's senior leader Rahul Gandhi is set to kickstart his Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra from Manipur.

"I have tendered my resignation from the primary membership of Congress, ending my family's 55-year relationship with the party," he said in a post on X (formerly Twitter).


Deora, son of veteran Congress leader Murli Deora, lost two successive Lok Sabha elections in 2014 and 2019 to Shiv Sena’s Arvind Sawant.

In a recent video Deora hinted that he was 'unhappy' over Mumbai South seat likely being assigned to the Uddhav Thackeray-led Sena in the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) seat sharing arrangements.

After joining the Shinde-led faction of the Shiv Sena today, Milind Deora told reporters, "...When I came into politics 20 years ago, I was taught by my mentors that politics should be positive and development-oriented. The service of the people is the most important ideology."

After joining the party, Deora visited the memorial of Balasaheb Thackeray and posted on X (formerly Twitter) an explanation for his decision to jump ship months before the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

In the letter, he wrote:

"Regrettably, the current state of the Congress no longer resonates with the party that my father Murlibhai and I joined in 1968 and 2004, respectively. It has deviated from its ideological and organizational roots, lacking appreciation for honesty and constructive criticism. The party that once initiated India's economic liberalization now targets business houses as 'anti-national'. It has strayed from celebrating India's diverse culture and religions, fostering division based on caste, and creating a North-South divide. Failing not just to attain power but also to effectively serve as a constructive opposition at the Center."


'Unfortunate': Opposition Leaders on Deora's Exit

Reacting to Deora's resignation, Mumbai Congress President Varsha Gaikwad said, "The Deora family has a different equation with the Congress family. Milind Deora's resignation from Congress' primary membership is unfortunate. Today I am very saddened personally and as a Congress worker... Murli Deora stood firmly with the party in all of its ups and downs... From today onwards the party is starting a historic Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra and there is no greater misfortune than that they have taken this step on this very day..., as quoted by news agency ANI.

Meanwhile, Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Sanjay Raut remarked, "...We knew senior Congress leader Murli Deora. He was a great leader, he was very attached and loyal to Congress."

Meanwhile, NCP leader Clyde Crasto told PTI that, "The news of Milind Deora leaving Congress reminds me of one person today, his late father Murli Deora. I have known Murli Deora since I was a child, and I have learnt a lot of things from him. One of the things that I have learnt from him was never to compromise with your ideology. Today, Milind has chosen a different path and has left the party that his father wholeheartedly and lovingly served for so many years."

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Topics:  Maharashtra 

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