Mumbai, March 25 (IANS) In a surprise reshuffle ahead of parliamentary elections, Mumbai Congress President Sanjay Nirupam was on Monday suddenly removed and replaced with former Union Minister Milind Deora.
The terse announcement was made by the All India Congress Committee (AICC) in the evening.
Nirupam, 54, was nominated for the Mumbai North-West constituency.
For the past few months, there was a clamour for his removal by various sections in the faction-hit Mumbai Congress, but all demands were brushed aside by the party high command.
Things came to a boil when on January 7, former MP Priya Dutt-Roncon announced she would “take a break” from electoral politics and not contest the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
However, prodded by Congress President Rahul Gandhi, on March 13 she ended the break and bounced back with a nomination from Mumbai North-Central seat.
The aggressive Nirupam was named MPCC President in March 2017, and has also been a two-time Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP and later elected to the Lok Sabha from Mumbai North on a Congress ticket.
The soft-spoken, US-educated Milind Deora, 45, is the son of former Union Minister, the late Murli Deora, and has won the Mumbai South seat twice, trouncing Bharatiya Janata Party’s former Union Minister, the late Jaywantiben Mehta.
Representing the same Mumbai South seat held by father several times, Deora Jr. will now be entrusted with the task of ensuring victory for the five Congress and one Nationalist Congress Party candidates from the city in the crucial 2019 elections.