Wednesday, April 24

Congress Likely To Expel Sanjay Nirupam Over Remarks On Uddhav Sena, He Says “Save Your Stationery”

Edited by Timeline News Desk

The Maharashtra unit of the Congress is currently deliberating on a proposal to oust party leader Sanjay Nirupam following his contentious remarks against the INDIA bloc as well as Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) ally Shiv Sena led by Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray over seat-sharing for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

This proposal is slated to be forwarded to the Congress high command in Delhi, with the party’s disciplinary committee set to take the final decision.

Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole said that the state Congress committee have revoked his status as a star campaigner and have initiated disciplinary proceedings against him for his statements.

Reacting to the development, Nirupam took to X (formerly Twitter) to ask Congress not to waste its energy and stationery on him amid rumours that he will quit tomorrow.

“Congress party should not waste much energy and stationery on me. Instead, use your remaining energy and stationery to save the party. Anyway, the party is going through a severe financial crisis. The period of one week that I had given has been completed today. Tomorrow I will take the decision myself,” he tweeted in Hindi.

A former MP, Nirupam has been critical of the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena ever since it announced its candidates for the Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra.

The primary point of contention centers around the Mumbai North-West seat, which Nirupam wants to contest, while the Uddhav Sena has nominated Amol Kirtikar as its candidate. The seat is currently held by Shiv Sena’s Gajanan Kirtikar, who defeated Nirupam in the 2019 election and sided with Eknath Shinde post the Shiv Sena’s split.

Uddhav Sena is strategically fielding his son, Amol, for the seat. Gajanan Kirtikar has since declared his intention not to contest against his son. Reports suggest that the BJP plans to nominate its candidate for the seat as part of its agreement with the Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena.

Nirupam’s recent statements have stirred considerable controversy within the Congress ranks. He called on the Congress leadership not to succumb to pressure from Uddhav Thackeray’s party, alleging that the Shiv Sena lacks the capability to win seats without Congress support.

Criticizing the alleged arm-twisting tactics employed by the Shiv Sena in securing a significant number of seats in Mumbai, Nirupam warned against conceding to such tactics, suggesting that it could spell disaster for the Congress in the city.

The former Rajya Sabha MP urged the party to end their alliance with Shiv Sena (UBT) saying “the way it has taken 5 seats of Mumbai. It seems that there is a plan to bury Congress in Mumbai. It seems that Shiv Sena wants to force Congress to kneel.”

“If Shiv Sena thinks it can fight alone then it is making a big mistake,” Nirupam added.

Nirupam also made serious allegations against Sena’s candidate Amol Kirtikar, accusing him of involvement in a bribery scandal related to a COVID relief initiative for migrant laborers, dubbed the “khichdi scam.” In a direct attack on Uddhav Thackeray, Nirupam referred to him as the “bachi khuchi Shiv Sena pramukh,” alluding to the rift within the party following the rebellion led by Eknath Shinde.

Speculation surrounding Nirupam’s future within the Congress has intensified. While he has hinted at being open to all possibilities, including a potential departure from the party, the Maharashtra BJP president, Chandrashekhar Bawankule, extended an invitation to Nirupam, stating that individuals with aligned ideologies are always welcome in the BJP. Feelers from the Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena indicate a willingness to welcome Nirupam if he chooses to sever ties with the Congress.

Maharashtra has 48 Lok Sabha seats, the second highest after Uttar Pradesh. Voting in the state will be held in five phases on April 19, April 26, May 7, May 13 and May 20. Counting of votes will be held on June 4.