Former Union minister Milind Deora has been appointed as new Mumbai Regional Congress Committee chief, replacing senior party leader Sanjay Nirupam. Deora has recently denied any infighting in the Mumbai Congress unit but reiterated that many party leaders were upset with Nirupam's way of working and heading the unit.
Nirupam had been at loggerheads with senior party leaders in the state and the move has come as a bid to quell the intense infighting within the Mumbai Congress.
"Congress president Rahul Gandhi has appointed Milind Deora as the new president of the Mumbai Regional Congress Committee. The party appreciates the contribution of outgoing president Sanjay Nirupam," a statement from the party said.
Nirupam, meanwhile, was nominated as the party candidate from the Mumbai North-West Lok Sabha constituency. 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. During his two-year stint as the MRCC chief, the party witnessed bickerings and increased differences among local leadership leading to public spats.
"I thank Congress president Rahul Gandhi and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi for trusting me to lead Mumbai Regional Congress Committee. This appointment comes at a challenging time and I commit myself to strengthen the roots of the party in Mumbai. I appeal to all leaders and workers to work unitedly defending and furthering party ideals," Deora said after the appointment.
"The city of Mumbai needs politics of inclusive development. In my view, Indian National Congress is the only political outfit that truly represents the spirit and nature of the city of Mumbai. In my tenure, I will focus on holistic development, with a focus on housing for all, protection to small and medium enterprises and enriching social and communal harmony. I also take this opportunity to thank my predecessor Shri Sanjay Nirupam. I wish him great success in his personal and political life," the former Union minister said.
Deora had earlier accused Nirupam of running the Mumbai Congress unit like a "one man army", adding a chief is supposed to head with taking "all leaders together".
"Nirupam needs to try harder. He is not able to bring all the Congress leader and party workers together. You can't run an organisation in a city like Mumbai as a one-man show, we have to bring people together," Deora had told India Today TV.