Sanjay Nirupam says will continue to take on BJP-Shiv Sena alliance

The seat is currently represented Shiv Sena MP Gajanan Kirtikar.

Mumbai: A day after being removed as president of the Mumbai Congress, party leader Sanjay Nirupam Tuesday said he will continue to take on the ruling BJP-Shiv Sena alliance in Maharashtra and highlight its "failures". The Congress Monday appointed former Union minister Milind Deora as Mumbai Regional Congress Committee (MRCC) chief, replacing Nirupam, who has been fielded by the party from the Mumbai North West parliamentary constituency. Addressing a press conference here, Nirupam said being a resident of the constituency for over 25-30 years, he always wanted to represent its people in the Lok Sabha. The former MP expressed confidence about his victory from Mumbai North West, which will vote on April 29. The seat is currently represented Shiv Sena MP Gajanan Kirtikar.

Speaking about his campaign, Nirupam said, "The Mumbai North West constituency has its own set of problems. We are planning to draft a separate and special manifesto for this particular constituency." "We will focus on issues being faced by the people here and will move from the streets of Mumbai to Parliament to solve them." Nirupam said the special manifesto for Mumbai North West will focus on issues like unemployment, construction and maintenance of roads, providing clean water, proper drainage system, solving traffic issues and protection of mangroves, among others. The Congress leader asserted he will not let Aarey Colony, a green belt in suburban Goregaon (which falls in Mumbai North West), get destroyed for construction of a metro car shed. Speaking about Deora, Nirupam said, "I congratulate Milind Deora for being appointed as the new Mumbai Congress president and hope he fight for the people of Mumbai just like I have been doing till now." Mumbaikars are agitated over the "failures" of the BJP -Sena government and the inability of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to provide them even basic amenities, the 54-year-old Congress leader said.

Nirupam, who was appointed the MRCC chief in 2015, said he will continue to fight for resolution of problems being faced by people just like he has been doing so far. Meanwhile, an internal survey that showed the Congress under Nirupam was being perceived as a party of one particular community apparently led to his removal as the MRCC president just a month ahead of polling in the metropolis. According to MRCC sources, the survey was done last week and the feedback was that the Congress had a scope to put up a good fight in four of the five Lok Sabha seats that it is contesting in Mumbai if it is led by a face that is acceptable to all communities. "Under Nirupam, the image of the party was that it is a party of only one community," the sources said. Jains, Marwaris and Gujaratis, which form a large chunk of electorate in Mumbai, were miffed with the Shiv Sena, they said, adding the survey's findings were discussed Sunday.

Nirupam was earlier with the Shiv Sena and joined the Congress in 2005. "The Congress under Nirupam was seen as a party of one particular community. Milind Deora is a half Marathi as his mother is a Maharashtrian. "He speaks fluent Marathi. Besides, he is acceptable to all other communities as well," a former party MLA said. The former MLA said all senior leaders who had stayed away from party affairs when Nirupam headed the MRCC are likely to be active again under Deora (42), a two-time MP. Deora will lead from front in all the six Lok Sabha seats that the Congress-NCP combine is contesting. All party candidates in Mumbai are former MPs and they can handle their own campaign, he said.

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