The Congress’ Mumbai unit on Tuesday faced the threat of a revolt from its senior general secretary, Ajit Sawant, who has threatened to float an independent forum and field 35 to 40 candidates against the party.
Sawant, an aide of disgruntled MP Gurudas Kamat, wrote a strongly worded letter to Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, party’s state in-charge Mohan Prakash and city unit president Kripashankar Singh, demanding justice for loyalists. “I don’t want poll tickets for myself or my sons. I want justice for loyalists not in a position to speak openly against the local leadership,” Sawant told HT. “I will quit my position if justice is denied. I’m ready to face suspension.”
Sawant is a staunch supporter of Kamat, who was opposed to the Congress- Nationalist Congress Party alliance. Sawant denied that Kamat had pushed him to take this step.
Blaming Singh for weakening the Congress, he said: “Party leaders are playing into the hands of the NCP, who is out to wipe out my party in several places.” Sawant was denied an Assembly ticket from Mahim in 2009, which went to Sada Sarvankar, who had defected from the Shiv Sena.
Singh said he had not received Sawant’s letter. “I will comment after I get it,” he said. “There will always be workers in any party who are not happy during election time.”
Later, Kamat appealed to alliance workers to not rebel. “Some disgruntled workers are likely to contest as rebels, and I condemn it,” Kamat said.
Sawant’s threat came a day after Ganesh Kamble, city president of Congress backward class cell, threatened to quit, alleging that the party has refused tickets for members of the cell.