Updated May 1st, 2024 at 20:31 IST

Expelled Cong Leader Sanjay Nirupam Set To Join 'Alma Mater' Shiv Sena After 19 years

Sanjay Nirupam is set to join his 'alma mater' Shiv Sena, now headed by Eknath Shinde, nearly two decades after he quit the undivided party.

Expelled Cong Leader Sanjay Nirupam Set To Join 'Alma Mater' Shiv Sena After 19 years | Image:PTI
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Mumbai: The political voyage of Sanjay Nirupam will come full circle as he is set to join his 'alma mater' Shiv Sena, now headed by Eknath Shinde, nearly two decades after he quit the undivided party which was his political launchpad in Mumbai.

Nirupam joined Congress in 2005 and was appointed as general secretary of the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee. He won the Mumbai North Lok Sabha seat in the 2009 elections, defeating BJP veteran Ram Naik by a narrow margin in a keenly fought contest.

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He held various positions in the Grand Old Party in the last 19 years and had also headed the city unit, before falling out of grace of the party leadership.

The Congress expelled Nirupam last month for six years for "indiscipline and anti-party statements", days after he gave a “one-week ultimatum” to the party over the Mumbai North-West seat, which he was eyeing.

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"Sanjay Nirupam will soon join the Shiv Sena," Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde told reporters on Wednesday after chairing a meeting of Shiv Sena office-bearers.

Nirupam was also present during the meeting, which Shinde described as a courtesy visit.

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Meanwhile, Shinde said Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to hold two rallies in Mumbai, which goes to polls on May 20.

Shinde expressed confidence that the ruling Mahayuti alliance, comprising Shiv Sena, BJP, and NCP led by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, will win all six Lok Sabha seats in Mumbai.

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The meeting was held with office-bearers of Mumbai South, Mumbai North West and Mumbai South Central constituencies where Shiv Sena nominees Yamini Jadhav, Ravindra Waikar, and Rahul Shewale are in the fray.

Nirupam's exit from Congress was the fallout of unfulfilled personal ambitions. It is said that he wanted to contest the Mumbai North West LS constituency on the Congress ticket in the ongoing elections, but the seat fell into the kitty of Shiv Sena (UBT) as part of a seat-sharing agreement among MVA allies.

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Nirupam, originally from Bihar, entered politics through journalism in the 1990s.

He became the editor of Mumbai-based 'Dophar Ka Saamana, the Hindi mouthpiece of undivided Shiv Sena. Impressed by his work, Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray sent him to Rajya Sabha in 1996.[ Nirupam emerged as the firebrand face of the Shiv Sena when it was trying to reach out to Mumbai’s North Indian voters. However, he suffered a setback when he was asked to step down as a Rajya Sabha member in 2005.

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Differences cropped up later, culminating in Nirupam's exit from the Sena in 2005 and subsequent joining of Congress. He won the Mumbai North Lok Sabha constituency in 2009 as a Congress candidate by defeating Ram Naik. However, in 2014, he faced a crushing defeat at the hands of Gopal Shetty of BJP from the same constituency.

Nirupam resigned as the Mumbai Congress president following the party’s rout in the 2017 elections to the Mumbai civic body.

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Post the 2019 Maharashtra assembly elections, Nirupm opposed the formation of the tripartite Maha Vikas Aghadi comprising ideologically incompatible Congress and Shiv Sena (undivided) headed by Uddhav Thackeray.

He gradually fell out of the grace of Congress leadership, resulting in his expulsion last month. 

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Published May 1st, 2024 at 20:31 IST