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Business News/ Elections / Lok Sabha elections 2024: How tussle over Mumbai North West seat led to Sanjay Nirupam's expulsion from Congress

Lok Sabha elections 2024: How tussle over Mumbai North West seat led to Sanjay Nirupam's expulsion from Congress

Sanjay Nirupam was ousted from Congress for his remarks against Shiv Sena over seat-sharing. He criticizes Congress for giving Mumbai North West seat to INDIA ally Shiv Sena (UBT)

Former Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam (PTI)Premium
Former Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam (PTI)

Maharashtra Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam was expelled by the party leadership on Wednesday for "indiscipline" and "anti-party statements as he made remarks against Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) – an INDIA ally – over seat-sharing ahead of the Lok Sabha election and gave one-week ultimatum to his party over the Mumbai North West constituency – the seat of contention.

The former Maharashtra Congress chief had been eyeing the Mumbai North West seat which he lost in the 2019 elections. However, Uddhav Thackeray's Shiv Sena declared its candidate, Amot Kirtikar, on the Lok Sabha seat and other Mumbai constituencies.

Upset over the Congress giving away the Mumbai North West seat to Shiv Sena (UBT), Sanjay Nirupam said the grand-old party shouldn't let itself to be arm-twisted by its ally in Maharashtra and the candidate announcement was done to sideline Congress.

Sanjay Nirupam said, "The Congress should not come under the threat of Shiv Sena (UBT) as the Uddhav Thackeray-led party is not capable of winning any seat without Congress support. Shiv Sena (UBT) arm-twisted the Congress to take five of the six seats in Mumbai. But the Congress should not allow itself to be arm-twisted like this. This action is against the Congress and it's a ploy to finish off the party in the city."

Now it is likely that Sanjay Nirupam will join hands with Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena which has not yet announced its candidate on the contentious seat.

Sanjay Nirupam has blamed Congress for not asking him why he wanted to contest this seat. After Shiv Sena (UBT) announced its candiate, Sanjay Nirupam told Indian Express, “The [Congress] leadership does not care about local leaders. Nobody had a talk with me in the last two weeks, nobody asked me if there was any alternative, nobody asked me why I want to contest this. At a time when Congress leadership is talking about extending nyay (justice) to different sections of the society, it is not looking into the injustice committed against its own party workers."

In 2009, Sanjay Nirupam had won the Mumbai North seat. However, he lost in the 2014 elections against BJP's Gopal Shetty and again in 2019.

With 48 Lok Sabha seats, Maharashtra is the second-largest contributor to the lower house of Parliament after Uttar Pradesh. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP won 23 out of 25 contested seats, while the undivided Shiv Sena secured 18 seats. The undivided NCP, part of the opposition alliance, contested 19 seats and won four.

(With agency inputs)

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Published: 04 Apr 2024, 03:13 PM IST
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