The faction-ridden Mumbai Congress on Saturday indicated it will raise the Aarey Colony and PMC Bank issues in the run-up to the October 21 Maharashtra assembly elections. The party will also take along its sulking leaders including Sanjay Nirupam.
A day after Nirupam alleged a conspiracy to sideline leaders loyal to Rahul Gandhi over apparent denial of tickets to his loyalists, city Congress president Eknath Gaikwad told reporters that Nirupam should meet AICC general secretary Mallikarjun Kharge and party chief Sonia Gandhi to get his
The former MP said he had spoken to former party leader Urmila Matondkar and is hopeful of she and Nirupam joining the poll campaign.
"People from the metropolis are angry with the Maharashtra government on the issues of the PMC bank and metro car shed at Aarey," he said.
When asked about Nirupam's public outburst, Gaikwad said he would speak to the former Mumbai Congress president to redress his grievances.
"Nirupam knows how Congress functions and how tickets are finalised in Delhi. I will speak to him. I have spoken to Urmila Matondkar as well. She is not sulking now. I am confident that both Urmila and Nirupam will campaign for the party candidates," he said.
Nirupam on Friday said he would not participate in campaigning for Congress candidates in the city. Matondkar had resigned from the Congress in September citing "petty in-house politics" in the city unit.
Gaikwad said there was no "groupism" in the Mumbai Congress but some misunderstandings. "I have been a loyal worker of the Congress since the
last 50 years. I have always respected all presidents of Mumbai Congress and obeyed their instructions for the welfare of the party. I expect the same from others," he said.
Gaikwad said residents of Mumbai are angry over issues like "pothole-ridden roads; the scam in the Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank, and felling of trees in Aarey Colony".
The RBI has superseded the board of the PMC after it emerged that the bank had a big exposure in loans to a single real estate firm.
The top bank subsequently imposed restrictions on withdrawal of money from PMC by account-holders, which caused wide-scale panic.
Aarey Colony issue pertains to the felling of trees by the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRCL) for clearing the way for construction of a metro car shed.
Green activists have been alleging that the MMRCL move will destroy the Aarey "forest". The High Court has given go-ahead for chopping of trees and also refused to grant a stay for a week as requested by some petitioners on Saturday.