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Mumbai: Workers unhappy with Congress city chief

Updated on: 16 February,2024 07:19 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Sameer Surve |

Wave of resignations amid allegations against Varsha Gaikwad’s leadership

Mumbai: Workers unhappy with Congress city chief

Varsha Gaikwad, Congress city president. File pic/ Satej Shinde

After rumblings about the state Congress president, it is being said that Congress party workers are unhappy with Mumbai chief Varsha Gaikwad's style of functioning too. Jagdish Kutty, before joining the BJP, had written a resignation letter claiming he had not been getting the opportunity to work for the party despite being the district head.

Gaikwad, a former minister, took charge as Mumbai Congress president in June 2023. In just two months, five former corporators have left the party. Pushpa Koli, Babbu Khan, Supriya More, Wajid Qureshi, and Ganga Mane joined the Chief Minister Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena in July. While leaving the party, Ganga Mane’s husband and one-time corporator Kunal Mane blamed Gaikwad’s working style for the exit. These corporators were elected in the 2017 civic election. On Monday, Kutty, who is the district head, and Rajendra Narwankar joined the BJP.
In his resignation letter, Kutty stated, “As a district president, I believe it is my responsibility to be an active participant in key decisions and discussions that shape the future of our party. Unfortunately, the selective dissemination of information has excluded many of us from staying informed about crucial party updates. Moreover, the emergence of favouritism within our ranks is disheartening. It is clear that ideas are being promoted based on personal allegiances rather than merit, and this has led to my deliberate exclusion. This departure from the values we hold dear is deeply troubling.” Kutty told mid-day, “In my resignation letter, I have stated why I am leaving the party. Yes, there are issues. There are 2-3 people around the president and she works based only on their advice. If I say anything as district president, it is ignored. I don't want to say any more as I start my career in BJP.”

A former corporator and prominent leader of Mumbai Congress told mid-day anonymously that there was a problem in the working style of the current Mumbai President. “I have been with the party for more than three decades, several times working as a corporator and also in a prominent post of Mumbai Congress. But the current party president never listens to us. She just works as per her advisor. Even, most of the time I was not invited to party functions, meetings or events,” he said. “Earlier, the former corporators would leave the party during the election. But, now the former corporators are leaving the party even when there is no civic election. The party should think seriously about this," he added.

"Whoever wants to leave the party has to give a reason. They are leaving the party for personal interest. Those who do not want to fight are leaving the party. They are fearing. But we are fighting. We are not afraid," said Varsha Gaikawad. "Jadish Kutty was with me a day before he joined BJP. Suddenly what happens? They went there for funds and fearing defeat," Gaikwad added.

"Those who choose to leave the party are required to provide reasons for their decision. Often, they do so to serve their own interests," said Nijamudin Raien, spokesperson for Mumbai Congress. "Varsha Gaikwad actively collaborates with grassroots party members, fostering unity within our ranks. It begs the question: why do only these individuals have problems against the Mumbai president? Perhaps their departure reflects a pursuit of personal agendas rather than genuine concerns about party leadership," Raien added. Meanwhile, the Mumbai Congress has decided to expand its core committee. Currently, there are 169 posts in the core committee. But around 150 posts are filled. Also, 15 to 20 new posts will be created. 

June 2023
Month Gaikwad took charge as city president

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