Former Lok Sabha member and senior Congress leader Priya Dutt was relieved of her duties as the All India Congress Committee (AICC) secretary on Sunday. The relieved letter served to Priya Dutt stated 'AICC president Rahul Gandhi appreciates your hard work and contribution to the party as Secretary'.
Priya Dutt's ouster led to speculation of her departure from the Congress, where she has been at loggerheads with Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam.
Priya Dutt tweeted on Sunday, “I received a letter relieving me of my duties as secretary AICC, I am very Thank full and extremely grateful to Mrs Gandhi and Rahulji to have given me this opportunity to serve the party for all these years. I thank all my colleagues in AICC for their help and guidance (sic).”
Top sources from within the party have stated that, "Nagma may be picked over Dutt for 2019 poll. Nagma’s presence at a key party meeting following Priya Dutt’s dismissal from AICC suggests she will be fielded from Mumbai North Central.”
Another senior Congress functionary said,
“Nagma may also be considered for the North West constituency, the seat of late Gurudas Kamat. Nagma was to fight that seat in 2009, but Kamatji was given the seat at the last moment. So if Dutt is picked again for North Central, Nagma can be moved to North West.”
The sacking of Priya Dutt comes just before Rahul Gandhi’s Maharashtra visit to spell out hits party's future strategy. On the occasion of Mahatma Gandhi's 150th birth anniversary, the Congress president Rahul Gandhi will convene the party's working committee meeting in the Wardha district of Maharashtra. The Congress chief will then lead a foot march.
Addressing a press conference on this matter, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said;
“The padyatra will culminate in a 'Sankalp Rally' at the Circus ground where he is expected to spell out the party's future strategy and pledge to uphold Gandhian principles and ideology. In the evening, the Congress president will address a public meeting.”
Surjewala also added that the Congress Working Committee meeting, scheduled to be held on Tuesday, will be historic as the CWC had held a meeting in Sevagram in 1942 under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi to adopt the 'Quit India' resolution.
Rahul Gandhi will first attend a prayer meeting at Bapu Kutir in Sevagram ashram of Mahatma Gandhi and then will preside over the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting.