In a jolt to Congress in Mumbai ahead of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) polls, prominent leaders have withdrawn from campaigning reportedly protesting the “style of functioning” of the party’s city unit chief Sanjay Nirupam.
“There is dissatisfaction among the leaders and workers over the manner in which tickets were distributed. Former minister and sitting legislator Mohd Arif Naseem Khan has conveyed his inability to participate in the campaign to the central leadership,” a party office-bearer said.
On Friday, former chief minister Narayan Rane also withdrew from campaigning saying Nirupam doesn’t need him and he would travel outside Mumbai to canvass for party candidates.
The Mumbai Congress chief will launch the party’s campaign on Sunday in suburban Malwani area of North Mumbai.
Congress general secretary Gurudas Kamat was the party’s first city leader to withdraw from the campaign. Kripashankar Singh and Janardhan Chandurkar have also decided to pull out of the campaign, sources said.
A party leader said earlier, Mumbai Congress campaigns were held on large grounds at prominent places in the city but Nirupam had restricted it to a particular locality in suburban Mumbai. “There is severe resentment in the city unit over the way to tickets were distributed. Due to the mismanagement, including giving tickets to undeserving nominees, party candidates have not been able to file nominations on time,” the leader claimed.
Nirupam has refused to comment on the internal bickering in the Congress.