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Congress Leader Targets Party Leadership After Team Thackeray Snub

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Congress Leader Targets Party Leadership After Team Thackeray Snub


New Delhi:

Congress leader and former Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Nirupam today urged the party to consider pulling the plug on their alliance with Shiv Sena (UBT). Mr Nirupam’s comments come hours after the Uddhav Thackeray-led party snubbed the Congress and independently released its list of 16 candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

“The way Shiv Sena UBT has bagged five seats in Mumbai. It seems there is a plan to bury the Congress in Mumbai. It seems Shiv Sena wants to force Congress to kneel,” the senior Congress leader told reporters.

“I appeal to the Congress leadership to intervene, otherwise it will break its alliance with Shiv Sena. If Shiv Sena thinks it can fight alone, it is making a big mistake,” Mr Nirupam added.

Maharashtra, which has 48 Lok Sabha seats, the second highest after Uttar Pradesh (80), will vote in five phases from April 19. The results will be announced on June 4.

The three parties that make up the opposition alliance in Maharashtra – Congress, Shiv Sena (UBT) and NCP (Sharadchandra Pawar) – have failed to finalize a seat-sharing plan despite a series of pre-election meetings in the state to start.

Team Thackeray finally took a call and announced its candidates for 16 seats in the state. The party has not yet announced a candidate for Mumbai South-Central, a seat that both the Shiv Sena (UBT) and Congress are keen to contest.

Sanjay Nirupam also criticized Sena’s choice of candidates, including Amol Kirtikar, who was today served a notice by the Enforcement Directorate over an alleged multi-crore ‘khichdi’ scam during the Covid pandemic.

“Shiv Sena has forced a Khichdi scam suspect as its candidate. I don’t want to work for a Khichdi thief,” he said.

He also told his party that the announcement of list by Shiv Sena (UBT) is a failure of the Congress top leadership.

“I will wait for a week for the Congress leadership to take a decision after which I will be open to all options,” Nirupam said.

Recently, Mr Nirupam also made comments on the arrest of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, which were not in agreement with the party officials. While the Congress condemned the arrest and attacked the BJP over it, Sanjay Nirupam called for Kejriwal’s resignation after his arrest.

Mr Nirupam reportedly wants to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections from the Mumbai North West seat and his recent comments against the Congress have sparked rumors that he might switch to the ruling BJP alliance, which is yet to field a candidate for the seat to announce.

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