Former Union minister Milind Deora was on Monday appointed the new Mumbai Congress Committee chief, replacing Sanjay Nirupam. The development is being seen as a bid to quell the infighting within the Mumbai Congress, a month after Deora had hit out at the lack of unity in the Mumbai Congress under Nirupam’s leadership.
“Congress president Rahul Gandhi appointed Milind Deora as the new president of Mumbai Regional Congress Committee. The party appreciates the contribution of outgoing president Sanjay Nirupam,” the Congress party said in a statement.
However, Nirupam has been given a party ticket from Mumbai North-West for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. In the 2014 elections, Nirupam lost to BJP’s Gopal Shetty from North Mumbai.
Deora, the son of former oil minister Murli Deora, is considered close to the Congress chief. Nirupam, a former two-time Rajya Sabha member and was earlier with the Shiv Sena, was appointed the president of the Mumbai Regional Congress Committee in March 2017.
“I thank Sonia ji and Rahul ji who gave me this responsibility at such a crucial time. Mumbai is a city of diversity, we will take everyone together and present a positive agenda to Mumbaikars,” ANI quoted Deora as saying on his new role.
In February, Deora, without naming Nirupam, had alleged that the Mumbai Congress had become “a cricket pitch of sectarian politics, with leaders pitted against one another” and even hinted at opting out of the Lok Sabha polls if the situation did not change.
Mounting another veiled offensive against Nirupam, Deora tweeted, “@INCINDIA is leading a powerful, united campaign across India. Infighting cannot, and should not, be allowed to threaten our base in Mumbai. I appeal to all Congress leaders in Mumbai to unite as a team. We owe this much to our party and to the Congress president.”