Congress leader Milind Deora appeared on Republic TV to speak about the issues plaguing the Congress in Mumbai where he cited 'difference of opinion' within the party leaders in the Maharashtra capital, but abstained from naming Congress Mumbai chief Sanjay Nirupam and the two alleged camps.
He said, "Firstly there is no factionalism or crisis, there are differences of opinions that exist in every party in every part of the country its not unique to Congress party or Mumbai. There are senior party leaders in Mumbai who are upset, who want to contribute to the party, who believe that Rahul Gandhi is doing a commendable job, trying to up the anti against the government. He is touring the length and the breadth of the country, mobilising people, mobilising the party. We believe that there is strong anti-incumbency against the government both in Mumbai and other parts of the country. It is important for all of us in the Congress party to work together as a team and unitedly and ensure that we defeat the Shiv Sena-BJP in Maharashtra."
While the Deora refrained from taking names but called the need for the party to 'unite' during the crucial election time by putting aside the differences in opinions and ideologies.
He said, "I don't want to blame an individual, but I do believe that we have to do much more to unite the party and its a crucial time its important for us to strengthen Rahul Gandhi's hands and the party. It is unfair if he is doing his best to unite leaders and doing his best to counter the false promises of this government, that we unite as well that we have to put aside our differences, find a way to work with each other and find a solution to whatever internal differences there would be. I'm confident we will be able to take along everybody. Even the party in Delhi which is aware of what's happening in Mumbai will stay tight during this crisis."
"We are here to ensure that the politics that is underway in this country is defeated. We are here to strengthen the party, but yes there are differences of opinions and ideologies that need to be addressed," he added.
When questioned about the emergence of 'pro-Sanjay Nirupam' and 'pro-Milind Deora' camps within the party, the Congress leader said, "Now elections are underway, whether a change happens or does not happen that's beside the point. Its not like I'm demanding there should be a change. But I'm suggesting that there are difference and we need to put those differences aside, come together and work as a team."
This internal battle within the Mumbai Congress has been persistent since last year, as in September 2018, a meeting between the senior Mumbai Congress leaders and party president Rahul Gandhi took place at the latter's residence in Delhi where the senior leaders had complained about Sanjay Nirupam to Gandhi.
At the beginning of the meeting, Naseem Khan explained the current situation of Mumbai Congress to the leaders, after which he went onto discuss the problems surfacing with the president of MRCC Sanjay Nirupam.
“We are not against Sanjay Nirupam. He is hard working, but the problem with Nirupam is that he is not the face on which we can win the maximum number of seats in the upcoming Lok Sabha and assembly polls in Mumbai,” stated Naseem Khan in front of the delegation.