Maharashtra Elections 2019: One of Sanjay Nirupam’s tweets read, “I hope that the day has not yet come to say good bye to party. But the way leadership is behaving with me, it doesn’t seem far away”.
NEW DELHI: The Congress is facing revolt from two key members in Maharashtra and Haryana – states that are having assembly elections in less than three weeks. In both states, the party was voted out in 2014 and failed to register its presence in the Lok Sabha elections earlier this year. The factionalism, which was one of the causes of the defeat, did not abate and has now flared up over ticket distribution. Today, in a series of tweets, senior Maharashtra leader Sanjay Nirupam declared that he would stay away from the campaign and threatened to quit. In Haryana, another senior leader, Ashok Tanwar, stepped down from all party posts, complaining to party chief Sonia Gandhi that he was not been given a hearing.
Here is your 10-point guide to the story:
- In a tweet, Sanjay Nirupam said, “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. Its my final decision”.
- “I hope that the day has not yet come to say good bye to party. But the way leadership is behaving with me, it doesn’t seem far away,” another of his tweets read.
- In a letter to Sonia Gandhi, former Haryana Congress chief Ashok Tanwar listed his 13 suggestions for ticket distribution given to state leaders. Accusing the party of being “unresponsive”, he wrote it had “demoralised the party workers” and has given a “free run to the BJP”.
- The letter was preceded by his public show if dissent. On Wednesday, Mr Tanwar and his supporters held a protest outside Mrs Gandhi’s official residence in Delhi, alleging corruption in distribution of tickets for the upcoming assembly polls.
- Mr Tanwar has alleged that tickets were being distributed on whims or were being “sold”. As an example he had cited the Sohna Assembly seat, saying its ticket was sold for Rs. 5 crore.
- His target is management committee chief Bhupender Hooda, a former Chief Minister of the state. Earlier, Mr Hooda had openly come out against Mr Tanwar, who is known to be close to Rahul Gandhi. Mr Hooda’s supporters have blamed the party’s fractured condition on Mr Tanwar.
- To put an end to factionalism ahead of assembly polls, the Congress had replaced Mr Tanwar with Kumari Selja as the chief of its Haryana unit last month. Mr Hooda was named the chairperson of the election management committee.
- Infighting in Maharashtra Congress was highlighted last month after actor Urmila Matondkar – who joined the party ahead of the Lok Sabha election, quit, alleging vested interests and in-house politics.
- Sanjay Nirupam, 54, was removed as the chief of the party’s Mumbai unit amid a running factional feud. His arch-rival Milind Deora was chosen to replace him.
- But with the party getting wiped out in the Lok Sabha election, Mr Deora resigned. The move brought jeers from Mr Nirupam. Questioning whether the resignation was a “ladder to grow politically” he suggested that Mr Deora was angling for a central job.