‘Stop Fueling Conspiracy Theories’: Congress Hits Back at Nirupam

Nirupam had said on Thursday that the time to say good bye to the Congress party may not be far away.

Updated04 Oct 2019, 11:54 AM IST
Politics
4 min read

Hours after Maharashtra Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam hit out at the party for its leadership and for not asking his advice on ticket distribution, the party’s spokesperson Manish Tewari hit back at him on Friday, 4 October, saying that he should stop cooking “conspiracy theories.”

Nirupam had said that having been the state Congress chief and one of the most experienced members of Congress’ Mumbai branch, he knew which candidate would do well in which constituency. Yet, he said, he had been left out of the decision-making process ahead of the Maharashtra polls.

“Possibly there is no need for people like me who are ready to struggle for the party anymore,” Nirupam said, adding that while he did not want to leave Congress, he could see that day coming soon.

"I don't think I would want to leave the party, but if the things within the party continues to be like this, then I don't think I can be in the party for long," he said.

Nirupam also reiterated that he would not take part in the Maharashtra polls.

"I have decided to stay away from the election campaign. I will see you directly on 24 October when the results are out," Nirupam added.

Attack on Congress Leaders

Attacking the Congress top leadership, including Sonia Gandhi, Nirupam said that there was no forum within the party where he could make his differences and displeasure clear. He also said that people working closely with Sonia Gandhi are biased.

“People working closely with Sonia Gandhi are biased. If I am going to be targeted this way in the future, then I will have no other choice but to quit the party,” he said.

He also insinuated that those close to Rahul Gandhi had been sidelined.

“Just because you want to ‘kill’ Sanjay Nirupam and anyone associated with Rahul Gandhi, you want to damage him and make him realise that he is no longer important, you are making these decisions. These people no longer have any value. I condemn this act,” Nirupam said.

Nirupam went on to warn that the Congress leadership was in a sad state and was looking at worse to come.

"There is no preparation by the Congress to fight the elections to my knowledge," Nirupam said.

Cracks in Mumbai Congress

Fissures in the city Congress over ticket distribution for the Maharashtra Assembly polls are wide open, with Nirupam taking to Twitter on Thursday to declare that he would not take part in the party's campaign after the name he had recommended was "rejected".

The former MP also said the way the party’s leadership was behaving with him the time to say good bye to the party was “not far away”.

"It seems Congress Party doesn't want my services anymore. I had recommended just one name in Mumbai for Assembly election. Heard that even that has been rejected. As I had told the leadership earlier, in that case I will not participate in poll campaign. It's my final decision," Nirupam said on Twitter, without naming any of the city leaders.

Nirupam also did not specify the name of the contender he was pushing for.

"I hope that the day has not yet come to say good bye to party. But the way leadership is behaving with me, it doesn't seem far away," he said in another tweet.

‘Nirupam Should Stop Fueling Theories’: Congress

The Congress asked Nirupam to stop fuelling conspiracy theories, after he attacked the party leadership for not granting party tickets to his supporters.

Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari also asked former Haryana Congress unit chief Ashok Tanwar to stop making statements against the party ahead of the Assembly elections in the state and asked him to act responsibly.

Tewari said the two leaders, who have held top positions in the party, should realise that their statements should not help those who have brought the nation to this passe.

“Sanjay Nirupam would be well advised to restrain himself. It would be appropriate if he does not kite fly these conspiracy theories that are unimaginative,” he told reporters.

Tewari said it is understandable that there are differences over ticket distribution and these two leaders are angry over it, but asked them to work with maturity and sagacity.

Background to Nirupam’s Disgruntlement

Shortly after Nirupam's announcement, speculation was rife in political circles that he would walk over to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and contest from Borivali Assembly seat, but he declined to comment on this, reported news agency IANS.

Nirupam was replaced as the city Congress chief ahead of the Lok Sabha polls in March this year following complaints by a section of party leaders that he functioned in “unilateral” manner.

Former Union minister Milind Deora had replaced Nirupam. However, Deora had resigned from the post last month following the party's debacle in the general elections. The party could not win even a single seat out of the six in Mumbai.

Former MP Eknath Gaikwad is the acting president of the city unit at present.

Congress Woes Beyond Nirupam

Nirupam's announcement came just a day after the party's former Haryana chief Ashok Tanwar staged a protest along with his supporters outside the residence of Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi, alleging that election tickets were being sold.

Earlier, on 10 September, Bollywood actress Urmila Matondkar had quit the Congress and is currently "unattached" after scoffing rumours of her joining the Shiv Sena.

(With inputs from PTI, IANS)

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Published: 03 Oct 2019, 02:01 PM IST

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