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"Deliberate attempt to humiliate Congress?" Sanjay Nirupam asks Uddhav Thackeray; calls him 'Bachi Khuchi Shiv Sena Chief'

Mumbai: Amid seat-sharing talks among the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) parties in Maharashtra, Sanjay Nirupam, a prominent Congress leader, has slammed Uddhav Thackeray for prematurely announcing the candidate for Mumbai's North-West Lok Sabha constituency asking if the Shiv Sena (UBT) is deliberately making an attempt to 'humiliate' his party.
The Congress leader, while taking to X, expressed his disappointment over the announcement of Amol Kirtikar as the Shiv Sena candidate for the Mumbai North-West constituency, a decision made by Thackeray before the MVA could finalise seat-sharing arrangements.
"How can this happen? Despite two dozen meetings of MVA, the final decision on seat-sharing has not been taken yet. Is announcing the candidate from Shiv Sena a violation of alliance dharma or a deliberate attempt to humiliate Congress?" he said in a post on X in Hindi.
The MVA, a coalition of Shiv Sena (UBT), NCP (Sharad Pawar faction), and Congress, is currently engaged in poll pact talks ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.
Referring to Uddhav Thackeray as the "bachi khuchi Shiv Sena pramukh" (the remaining Shiv Sena chief), Nirupam asked his party's top brass to intervene in this matter.
The Congress leader also raised serious allegations against Amol Kirtikar, claiming his involvement in the 'Khichdi Scam'.
Nirupam accused Kirtikar of accepting bribes during the COVID-era program initiated by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to provide free food to migrant labourers.
According to Nirupam, Kirtikar has taken commissions from the scheme intended to support the impoverished, and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) is currently investigating the matter.
However, Shiv Sena (UBT) Spokesperson Anand Dubey has hit back at Nirupam saying that the latter should have informed his willingness to contest the seat to the Congress party instead of telling it on social media.
"Sanjay Nirupam lost the Lok Sabha elections of 2014, and 2019. He does not even hold a portfolio in his party. Maybe this is why he is not being invited to the INDIA alliance or MVA meetings... When we won the Mumbai North-West seat in 2019, it was our right to contest that seat again... If Sanjay Nirupam wants to contest elections again, he should tell this to the Congress party and not on social media platforms..." Dubey said.
Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Sanjay Raut, earlier in the day said that the seat sharing will happen in the state.
"Seat sharing will happen, it is done. It will be done with Prakash Ambedkar, Vanchit Bahujan Aaghadi - they are with us..." he said.
In Maharashtra, Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena, Ajit Pawar-led NCP and the BJP will contest the Lok Sabha elections in alliance in Maharashtra which sends 48 members to the lower house of Parliament.
BJP had won 23 of the 25 seats it had contested in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, while its then alliance partner -- undivided Shiv Sena -- won 18 seats of the 23 seats it had contested.
The undivided NCP, as part of the opposition alliance, had contested 19 seats and managed to win four.
The Shiv Sena, which had joined hands with the Congress and the NCP to form a coalition government after the assembly elections in Maharashtra in 2019, split in 2022 when Eknath Shinde walked away with a majority of the party's MPs and MLAs and joined hands with the BJP.
The BJP is keen to contest more than 30 seats in the upcoming elections as it eyes the 370-mark in the 543-member Lok Sabha.

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