Mumbai Cong leaders slam Nirupam over party mouthpiece gaffe

Mumbai (PTI): Left red-faced by the articles in Congress mouthpiece targeting Jawaharlal Nehru and Sonia Gandhi, a section of Mumbai unit of Congress today came down heavily on party city chief and journal’s editor Sanjay Nirupam and sought his apology and resignation over the issue.

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A city Congress leader, on condition of anonymity, said that the current edition of the Mumbai unit’s journal was crucial as it was dedicated to party chief Sonia Gandhi, and Nirupam should apologise for the embarrassment caused to the party and resign from his post.

“This is unpardonable and the impact made by the development on the party’s image is irrecoverable. He must immediately tender an apology to all the party workers of the country and submit his resignation. Nirupam has hanged down our heads with shame,” he said.

Another Congress leader said, “We should never forget that abusing Sonia was in the DNA of Nirupam ever since he was with Shiv Sena.”

“Those days, Nirupam used all possible unparliamentary language to tarnish Sonia’s image and he is still carrying forward the same mindset,” he added.

“A leader with journalistic skills (Nirupam) can never be so casual, and prima-facie it looks like that he himself has published this article, which is a deep embarrassment to all party cadres,” another party leader said.

Meanwhile, in his initial reaction, Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee president Ashok Chavan sought to downplay the issue, saying that when Nirupam himself had clarified everything, he did not think it right to comment on it.

An unsigned write-up in the Mumbai unit’s journal, coinciding with the party’s 131st foundation day, blamed Nehru for “the state of affairs in Kashmir, China and Tibet” even as another write-up made controversial remarks on party chief Sonia Gandhi, forcing Nirupam to order an inquiry even as he claimed he was unaware of the content.

Both these articles, which did not bear the name of the writer, have been published in this month’s issue of ‘Congress Darshan’ Hindi edition as a tribute to the country’s first Home Minister Sardar Vallabbhai Patel on his death anniversary on December 15.

However, Nirupam said he was not involved in the day-to-day functioning of the magazine and was unaware of the articles.

“I admit the mistake. Inquiry will be initiated against the editorial department which committed the mistake. We will take measures that such a mistake is not repeated,” Nirupam said.

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