Rahul Gandhi on Saturday warned the warring factions of the party’s Mumbai unit to work together ahead of crucial civic polls telling them that he would ensure accountability after the BMC election results.
Gandhi’s over two-hour-long meeting with Mumbai leaders was aimed at putting the house in order in the megapolis at a time when Shiv Sena and BJP are at increasing loggerheads in the state and in the city.
The Congress Vice-President’s warning to top city leaders was significant in the backdrop of the internecine quarrels that had come to fore after AICC general secretary Gurudas Kamat announced his retirement from active politics last month.
Upset over being sidelined by Mumbai Pradesh Congress Committee president Sanjay Nirupam and AICC general secretary Mohan Prakash in party’s city affairs, Kamat had announced that he was retiring from active politics. He later resumed his duties AICC general secretary after being convinced by top leadership.
Kamat was present at the meeting today along with Nirupam and Prakash.
Gandhi also sought to play a peacemaker between the two leaders.
“If I am the problem, I am ready to correct myself,” Nirupam said after the meeting, seeking to extend an olive branch to Kamat.
The meeting was also attended by former MPs Milind Deora and Eknath Gaikwad, city party MLAs Varsha Gaikwad, Amin Patel, Aslam Sheikh, Janardhan Chandurkar, Amin Patel. Despite faring well in the city in 2004 and 2009 Lok Sabha and Assembly polls, Congress is in opposition in the cash-rich Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation for over two decades now with Shiv Sena calling the shots in alliance with BJP.
In 2014 Lok Sabha and Assembly polls, Congress has lost power tally in the state and win in the crucial BMC polls could prove to be boost to the party cadre. Gandhi could also be visiting Mumbai in a month’s time for attending a meeting of block presidents. Earlier this week he had also called leaders from Kerala to end factionalism in the southern state in the wake of its defeat in Assembly polls.