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Troubles mount for Congress ahead of Assembly polls in Maharashtra, Haryana

ANI | Updated: Oct 04, 2019 19:48 IST

New Delhi [India], Oct 4 (ANI): Troubles appear be mounting for Congress ahead of Assembly polls in Haryana and Maharashtra with allegations of wrong selection of candidates having being levelled in both states, and factionalism on display.
In Haryana, former state Congress chief Ashok Tanwar has resigned from all assigned responsibilities and committees and has slammed the manner in which tickets have been distributed.
Tanwar, who was replaced as state party chief last month, has said that those who had given their "sweat and blood" for the party had been ignored during ticket distribution.
He also made a veiled attack on former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, saying a few people with vested interests cannot tolerate the emergence of new leadership in Haryana.
Party workers from Haryana had also staged a protest outside the residence of party chief Sonia Gandhi over the manner in which tickets had been distributed. They also raised slogans against Ghulam Nabi Azad, who is party in-charge of Haryana.
In Maharashtra, party leader Sanjay Nirupam has said that he will not campaign for the Congress and that a conspiracy is being stitched within the party against Rahul Gandhi loyalists.
Nirupam, who has talked of severing ties with the party, told ANI on Friday that Congress will lose in the upcoming Maharashtra polls as tickets have been distributed haphazardly.
"I had asked to field a candidate of my choice in Versova. A conspiracy is being stitched in Delhi where people who are working with Rahul are being demeaned and thrown out of the party system. I am an example of this. You have seen it happen with Ashok Tanwar. Tripura Congress chief also faced the same problem," he said.
He said that except for 3-4 seats in Mumbai, deposits of Congress candidates will be forfeited.
"Names of candidates have been finalised without conducting any survey. Those working around Sonia don't understand how things work. Whatever AICC general secretary says is considered as final. Earlier, the party had a system to take feedback from the ground-level workers. Today, that system is no more. There is a systematic fault in Congress. If it is not fixed then it will damage the party," he said.
He said a 77-year-old man, who finished third in the last election, has been given a ticket.
Nirupam, a former Mumbai Congress president, also announced that he would not campaign for the party ahead of state polls.
"I don't think I would want to leave the party but if things within the party continue to be like this, then I don't think I can be in the party for long. This decision has been taken to demean Sanjay Nirupam or anyone associated with Rahul Gandhi. I condemn it and announce that I will not participate in the poll campaign," he said.
Nirupam has also slammed the working style of Milind Deora, who replaced him as Mumbai Congress chief.
Some other Congress leaders have also commented on the developments.
Party MP Husain Dalwai has accused party leader Priya Dutt of "manipulating" ticket allocation process in Maharashtra.
"Based on Priya Dutt's suggestions they gave two-three tickets even though she does not even work, even during her elections (Lok Sabha), she was not working. They could have given one ticket to Sanjay Nirupam too from the seat of his choice. I am surprised with what is happening here, the candidate who has been allotted seat from Bandra East should have fought from the West instead," Dalwai told ANI.
Dalwai also alleged that there were definitely problems in the Mumbai wing of the party because of the reshuffle of leadership at the state level. He, however, added, that Nirupam should have kept quiet till the elections were over.
"I had a chat with Nirupamji, such things happen during the election season but whatever he said about Milind Deora should not have been said. It is also true that sidelining him in this phase will hurt Congress. The party should have accepted the demands put forth by Sanjay Nirupam," he said.
Some senior leaders of Congress including former Maharashtra Minister Harshavardhan Patil and former leader of opposition in state Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil have quit the party and joined the BJP.
Actor-turned-politician Urmila Matondkar, who was Congress Lok Sabha candidate from Mumbai North and former Maharashtra minister Kripashanker Singh had resigned from the party last month.
Singh had resigned over party's stance on the repeal of Article 370.
Voting in the two states will take place on October 21 and counting of votes will take place on October 24. (ANI)