The rift within the Congress in the state has come out in the open once again, with some senior party legislators and ex-legislators threatening to boycott the Iftaar party organised by the party in Mumbai’s Haj House on Tuesday. Their grouse: Their names are not mentioned on the invitation card for the event.
Maharashtra Congress chief Ashok Chavan and Mumbai Congress president Sanjay Nirupam have organised the Iftaar party.
Sources confirmed that party sitting MLAs Aslam Shaikh, Amin Patel and Asif Shaikh Rasheed, and former legislators Baba Siddique and Yusuf Abrahani have formally objected to their names not being mentioned on the invitation card.
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The discontent appears to have been fuelled owing to the fact that names of another party MLA Naseem Khan and party’s minority wing chief in Mumbai Nizamuddin Rayeen figure in the RSVP column.
Sources further confirmed that the disgruntled MLAs had raised the issue with Chavan, but the latter didn’t act on their demand.
Not only are the legislators threatening to boycott the event, they have also conveyed that several party municipal corporators from the minority community, who subscribe to their viewpoint, will give the event a miss.
Amin Patel, when contacted, said, “I’m committed to the party. There is no question of going against the party’s word. But every minority leader must be treated with respect and equally to send the right message in the community.” Aslam Shaikh echoed Patel’s views, while confirming the issue had been discussed with the state party chief.
Meanwhile, Siddique, who is now a senior vice president with the Mumbai Congress, said, “It was unfortunate that names had been left out of the card.” He reminded that names of all minority MLAs and ex-MLAs had figured on the invitation card last year. Naseem Khan, meanwhile, played down the controversy.
The fresh rumblings of discontent come at a time when the controversy continues to rage over the widening rift between Sanjay Nirupam and All India Congress Committee’s general secretary Gurudas Kamat.