The Maharashtra Congress facing infighting in the party, once again was left embarrassed on Monday when senior leader Sanjay Nirupam took a dig at Milind Deora, after both the leaders were conspicuously absent from the former party chief Rahul Gandhi’ rally in the state, yesterday.

Nirupam took to Twitter to clear his position. He said that speculations over his absence in Rahul Gandhi’s rally are baseless as he had informed him about his prior commitment (a family function). He took a dig at former Mumbai Congress chief Milind Deora and asked, “But why was Nikamma (useless) absent?”

He said, “Speculations & suspicions about my absence in RG’s Mumbai rallies are meaningless. Due to an important family function I was very busy whole day,rather till late night. Had informed him in advance. He is my leader & he will be always the same for me. But why was Nikamma absent ?”

Sanjay Nirupam was removed from the post of Mumbai Congress chief right before the Lok Sabha Elections 2019 following complaints by some party leaders that he functioned in a dictatorial manner.

Milind Deora took over from Nirupam but the Congress party’s dismal performance led Deora to resign, at which Nirupam tweeted and said, “Removal of Milind Deora as MRCC President is an appropriate decision taken by Congress because he was not able to perform and energise the cadre. Assembly elections are just 40 days away. The acting president must take everyone into confidence to give the Shiv Sena and BJP [Bharatiya Janata Party] a respectable fight.”

Earlier, on October 4, Nirupam alleged a conspiracy against former Congress president Rahul Gandhi, “people working closely with Sonia Gandhi are showing bias,” he said.

He also predicted that Congress is going to win only 3-4 seats in Mumbai.

While speaking to reporters, Nirupam said, “The way candidates have been chosen, in Mumbai, you can leave aside three or four seats, Congress will lose its deposit in rest others.”

The 54 –year-old leader also reiterated that he would not campaign for the Congress in the Maharashtra Assembly elections. Talking to journalists he said, “Now I will see you only on October 24, the day of the results.”

Nirupam, went public against his party and shared his views on Twitter in a series of tweets, on October 3. He said, “It seems Congress Party doesn’t want my services anymore. I had recommended just one name in Mumbai for Assembly election. Heard that even that has been rejected. As I had told the leadership earlier,in that case I will not participate in poll campaign. It’s my final decision.”

This internal struggle could adversely affect Congress’ chances in the incoming Assembly elections.

Maharashtra will go to polls on October 21. Counting of votes will take place on October 24 and the results will be out on the same day. The five-year term of the Legislative Assembly of Maharashtra expires on November 9.