The crisis within the Maharashtra Congress came to a head when the party’s former Mumbai chief Sanjay Nirupam alleged a conspiracy against former president Rahul Gandhi. “There is a conspiracy against Rahul Gandhi… people working closely with Sonia Gandhi are showing bias,” he said.
The fissures in the party have been deepening with several of its leaders, including Nirupam and Ashok Tanwar, raising issues with the distribution of tickets for the Maharashtra and Haryana polls respectively.
“Congress’ hierarchy structure is extremely faulty and will cause the party more problems in the future,” Nirupam pointed out and added, “On October 24 we will lose our deposit. That will be our fate after elections.”
A miffed Nirupam, who had announced that he would not campaign for the party in the Assembly polls scheduled for October 21, said the leadership was “sidelining” him though he had served as Mumbai unit president for four years.
Nirupam, who was removed as Mumbai Congress president ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, said his views had not been considered during ticket distribution for the Assembly polls.
It’s not all smooth sailing for the BJP too. Keeping up with its blow hot, blow cold relationship with the Sena in the state, the two parties will be facing each other in the Kankavli seat. Though the allies had finalised a seat-sharing pact for the polls, the Sena was upset with the BJP fielding Nitesh Rane, son of former Maharashtra chief minister Narayan Rane, from the seat and hence decided to put up its own candidate.
In other election-related news, Union Home Minister and BJP chief Amit Shah will also campaign in Maharashtra. He will hold rallies in Kolhapur, Satara, Pune and Aurangabad.
Earlier, Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said if India had the Rafale aircraft during the Balakot strike, it would not have to cross the border and would have eliminated terror camps from within India. Addressing a rally in Karnal, Singh also slammed the Congress for mocking the ‘Shastra Puja’ he conducted when he went to France to receive the first Rafale aircraft, saying such statements “only strengthen Pakistan”