With barely two weeks left for the civic polls, the city Congress on Thursday suffered a huge set back with the reported resignation of two of its sitting corporators from Kalina – Alice Johnson Therattil and Mohamed Rafique Shaikh.
Therattil and Shaikh, along with another sitting corporator Dharmesh Vyas, were denied tickets for the upcoming polls and are supporters of Congress MP Priya Dutt.
Dutt on Thursday targeted city Congress president Kripashankar Singh for denying her followers poll tickets.
She addressed a large crowd at her Bandra residence on Thursday morning.
While Therattil’s resignation has been confirmed, Shaikh denied the reports: “I haven’t tendered my resignation yet and am waiting for my party to give me an official nomination,” said Shaikh.
Therattil and Shaikh will now reportedly contest as independents against official Congress candidates.
The resignations could be a big blow to Kripashankar as Kalina is considered his stronghold. Shaikh and Therattil are sitting corporators from two neighbouring wards, 84 and 85, both of which are in Kalina, from where Singh is an MLA.
Commenting on the denial of tickets, Dutt said, “I consider it an insult to me because the list of candidates in my constituency was not revealed to me till the last minute.”
She said she was an MP and Singh was an MLA from Kalina which falls in her constituency, indicating that she should have been consulted before finalising candidates.
“I will continue to fight for the rights of the ordinary party worker,” she said.
Incidentally, in ward 84, there were four Congress candidates who had filed nominations, including Therattil.
However, the ticket finally went to Brian Miranda, a Singh loyalist, leading to discontent in the area.
The Mumbai Pradesh Youth Congress (MPYC) expressed its grievance against the reported interference of Member of Parliament of North Mumbai , Sanjay Nirupam in the ticket distribution for the civic polls.
President of MPYC Sadaf Aboli said that ward number 31 (evershine Nagar, Kandivili) was to be given to a youth congress worker, Tajindersingh Tewana.
His name was recommended by Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi, but Nirupam had recommended George Abrahim for that seat.
“In the tussle, the party leadership gave the ticket to a third person, Parminder Bhamra, who is not well known in the ward,” said Aboli.