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Lok Sabha elections: Congress cracks the whip against ex-MP Sanjay Nirupam

The Congress on Wednesday initiated disciplinary action against former Mumbai unit chief Sanjay Nirupam over his remarks against the party leadership amid seat sharing talks with Maha Vikas Aghadi ally Shiv Sena (UBT) for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. 

Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole said that the party has dropped the former MP from the list of star campaigners.

“The party has dropped Nirupam’s name from the list of star campaigners and disciplinary action has been initiated against him for his utterances against the party and the state unit leadership. A decision will be taken in a day or two,” Patole was quoted by the PTI as saying.

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Nirupam had lashed out at the state Congress leadership after the Uddhav Thackeray-led party declared candidates on four out of six Lok Sabha seats in Mumbai, including the Mumbai North West seat, which he is eyeing.

A file photo of Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam.(Pratham Gokhale/ Hindustan Times)

Nirupam had said that the Congress leadership shouldn’t allow itself to be arm-twisted by Shiv Sena (UBT). He also said that accepting the Shiv Sena (UBT’s) decision to unilaterally field candidates in Mumbai amounted to allowing the destruction of Congress.

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“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,” the former MP was quoted by PTI as saying.

“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,” Nirupam, who started his political career with the undivided Sena before switching over to the Congress, said.

The Shiv Sena (UBT)’s move of declaring nominees for 21 seats in Maharashtra has triggered unease among the other two Maha Vikas Aghadi allies – Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (Sharadchandra Pawar) – as the three parties are yet to finalise the seat-sharing deal for the Lok Sabha polls, which will be held in five phases in Maharashtra starting April 19.

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