Mumbai Congress makes quantum leap

High Command gives nod to Sanjay Nirupam’s request, approves another 50 members

Unprecedented, that's how one would describe the size and all-inclusiveness of the Mumbai Regional Congress Committee (MRCC) which was further expanded on Saturday to include another 50 members and office-bearers headed by president Sanjay Nirupam. The earlier team, which was formed in May, had 120 members.

Sanjay Nirupam
Sanjay Nirupam

Between 2003 and 2015, the MRCC had an average of 50 members and, though the committee was supposed to be changed every three years, only the president would change while the remaining members would continue in their posts.

Expansion has been executed in view of placating various factions within the MRCC, all of them demanding positions for their representatives. Associates of Priya Dutt, Milind Deora, Kripa Shankar Singh, Gurudas Kamat and Eknath Gaikwad have been included.

All religions, communities (their sub-castes), especially Maharashtrians and minorities like Christians and north Indians, have been given a significant share of representation so that the Congress benefits in the 2017 civic polls through social engineering.

The city has 36 legislative assembly segments in the six Parliamentary constituencies which are treated as district units in MRCC. The new members belonging to these segments are expected to spearhead party activities there with a renewed vigour.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi approved a list of additional members on Saturday afternoon after which party's national general secretary Janardan Dwivedi released the list. The new list has seven general secretaries (earlier 22) and 52 secretaries (earlier 32).

Other than these new office-bearers, the MRCC will continue to have three senior vice-presidents and 16 vice-presidents, five spokespersons and 19 permanent invitees. No new executive member has been added (earlier 23). A Congress veteran said the new team was historic in a sense.

“MRCC had been working without fresh faces in its committee between 2003 and 2015. Many successive presidents before Nirupam had to work with members who had been there in earlier formations as well. This is a welcome change,” he said, requesting anonymity.

Nirupam told SUNDAY mid-day that the expansion would help the city Congress become vibrant. “This is an effort to form an all-inclusive team. Our party feels that people of all ages and experience should get to work in positions of leadership. I expect all my team members to contribute and work hard to expose the BJP-Sena government in the BMC, state and Centre,” he said.

Saddaf Aboli, ex-youth Congress chief and student leader, is among the secretaries. Javed Shroff and Brian Miranda (corporator) have been designated as general secretaries.

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