Internal tussle between Congress leaders was once again out in open on Monday when party's rebel Maharashtra leader and former Mumbai chief Sanjay Nirupam hit out at Milind Deora. Taking to Twitter, a day after former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi's rally in poll-bound Maharashtra, Sanjay Niruapm responded to speculative reports over his absence from the rally. In the tweet, he stated that the speculations and suspicions about his absence from Rahul Gandhi's Mumbai rallies are "meaningless". Sanjay Nirupam reasoned his absence, saying that he had informed Gandhi in advance about his prior family commitments on the day of the former's rally.
The former Congress MP further asserted that Rahul Gandhi 'is and will always be his leader'. Later, he went on to slam Milind Deora, by saying "But why was Nikamma absent?"
Speculations & suspicions about my absence in RG’s Mumbai rallies are meaningless.— Sanjay Nirupam (@sanjaynirupam) October 14, 2019
Due to an important family function I was very busy whole day,rather till late night.
Had informed him in advance.
He is my leader & he will be always the same for me.
But why was Nikamma absent ?
This development has come days after Sanjay Nirupam, who is one of the most prominent faces in Maharashtra Congress, had announced that he will not participate in the poll campaigning for the party in the October 21 assembly elections. Taking to Twitter, Nirupam had expressed anger after the party allegedly rejected his recommended candidate for the assembly polls.
"It seems the Congress Party doesn't want my services anymore. I had recommended just one name in Mumbai for Assembly election. Heard that even that has been rejected. As I had told the leadership earlier, in that case I will not participate in poll campaign. It's my final decision," Sanjay Nirupam had said on Twitter.
While Milind Deora has replaced Sanjay Nirupam as the Mumbai Congress chief ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Deora submitted his resignation from the post after the massive defeat in the polls. Congress party, on its own, had failed to win even one of six seats in Mumbai. With two of the biggest faces of Maharashtra Congress missing in action during the state polls, Congress is facing a major challenge.
Assembly elections are scheduled to take place on October 21 in Maharashtra and Haryana in a single phase. Congress party is fighting the elections in an alliance with Sharad Pawar-led NCP, with both the seats contesting on 125 seats each in the 288-assembly elections.