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Milind Deora quits Cong, joins Shiv Sena led by CM Shinde

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MUMBAI, Jan 14: In a setback for Congress in Mumbai ahead of Lok Sabha polls, former Union minister Milind Deora on Sunday quit the party “to walk the path of development” and joined the Shiv Sena led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, ending a “55 years old association” of the Deora family with the Grand Old Party.
With Deora resigning just before the start of the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, the Congress alleged that the timing of the announcement of his departure from the party was determined by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for headline management to counter the yatra, and asserted that it would have no impact.
The former Mumbai South MP announced his decision to resign from the primary membership of the party on social media platform X in the morning hours on Sunday.
“Today marks the conclusion of a significant chapter in my political journey. I have tendered my resignation from the primary membership of the Congress, ending my family’s 55-year relationship with the party.”
“I am grateful to all leaders, colleagues and karyakartas for their unwavering support over the years,” Deora stated.
He later went to Siddhivinayak Temple in Prabhadevi to offer prayers.
In the afternoon, Deora joined the Shiv Sena in the presence of Eknath Shinde in a function at Varsha, the official residence of the chief minister.
Earlier in the day, when Deora stepped out of his residence ‘Ramalayam’ in south Mumbai, he told reporters that he was “going to walk on the path of development”.
Deora, who was recently appointed the joint treasurer of the All India Congress Committee, had expressed disapproval at the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena (UBT) staking a claim to the Mumbai South Lok Sabha constituency which he had represented in the past.
The undivided Shiv Sena’s Arvind Sawant, now with the Thackeray faction, had defeated Deora in the 2014 and 2019 general elections.
Deora was also the head of the Mumbai Congress at one time. He is the son of party stalwart late Murli Deora.
After Deora announced his resignation on X, Mumbai Congress president Varsha Gaikwad said it was unfortunate that he had quit the party on the day when the Rahul Gandhi-led ‘Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra’ commences from Manipur.
Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole called it a ploy by the Bharatiya Janata Party to divert the attention from the Yatra and mocked Deora as a “twice defeated candidate”.
Former chief minister Ashok Chavan said Deora wanted to contest from the Mumbai South constituency but the (Maha Vikas Aghadi) alliance’s understanding is that the sitting MP must not be disturbed.
“The BJP was spreading rumours that the Congress will split.”
“Now the BJP and its allies are taking along with them a twice-defeated candidate to divert attention from the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra. This attempt will not be successful,” Patole said.
No compromise on South Mumbai seat: Raut
Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut, however, said there would be no compromise on the Mumbai South Lok Sabha seat.
“Arvind Sawant is a two-time MP (of Shiv Sena-UBT). What is wrong with him contesting again? There will be no compromise on this,” Raut asserted.
Queried on Deora quitting the Congress, Raut said,
“We knew Murli Deora well and what it is to work for the party and sacrifice for it. If people change loyalties to contest elections, it shows a new trend has started in the state.”
Does BJP have no talent of its own, asks Sule
Supriya Sule of the Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party on Sunday mocked the BJP and asked if it had no talent of its own, her statement coming in the backdrop of former Union minister Milind Deora quitting the Congress.
Asked about the development, Sule said the BJP and its allies were becoming the Congress, an apparent reference to leaders from the grand old party switching allegiance to the ruling side. (PTI)

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