Sanjay Nirupam got a clean chit from Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, in the Congress Darshan case, and managed to keep his detractors quiet. But the fallout of the episode in which Nirupam was criticised, has affected former Member of Parliament Milind Deora, whose name was being talked about as a replacement for him.
Sanjay Nirupam, Rahul Gandhi and Milind Deora at the Rajiv Gandhi Bhavan during the inauguration of the Late Murli Deora Sabagruha. Pic/Bipin Kokate
Deora was not even given the mike to speak at the inauguration of a hall at the Mumbai Congress office, in his father Murli Deora’s name yesterday.
A whole faction in the Congress party is working hard to oust Nirupam, who came from the Shiv Sena. Senior party leaders like Gurudas Kamat had even openly criticised his way of functioning, which is closer to the Sena style than the Congress’ way of functioning.
However, now sources in the party claim that, while a notice issued to Nirupam in the Congress Darshan case is just a procedure, he enjoys the full confidence of the Gandhi family and the High Command.
This seems to have enabled Nirupam to shut his detractors, and Deora. In the past few days, rumours that Deora is set to replace Nirupam, have been doing the rounds. But on Friday, when Rahul Gandhi visited the MRCC office to inaugurate the hall named after Murli Deora, Milind wasn’t even given the mike to speak.
When contacted, Deora said, “I am more than happy that people who have worked with my father for decades together, spoke about him when the hall was inaugurated.” When asked about rumours regarding him replacing Nirupam, Deora said he wouldn’t like to comment on it.
Dialling all the right numbers: Rahul Gandhi and Sanjay Nirupam at the event. Pic/Bipin Kokate
On Friday, Nirupam hijacked the function at the MRCC, and accompanied Rahul Gandhi everywhere. Even his supporters were seen everywhere that Gandhi was.
A source close to the party leadership said, “Rahul has given Nirupam another chance. He believed that the Congress Darshan instance was just a mistake and he believes that Nirupam is doing good for the party. Nirupam has assured Rahul that such mistakes won’t be repeated and he will personally see to it.”