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Supporters of Nirupam, Kamat clash as infighting in Mumbai Cong intensifies

Supporters of Nirupam, Kamat clash as infighting in Mumbai Cong intensifies
The simmering tension between factions led by city unit Congress president Sanjay Nirupam and party veteran Gurudas Kamat boiled over on Friday with their supporters engaging in a scuffle in suburban Juhu on Friday.

Embarrassingly for Congress, the incident occurred outside the venue where AICC observer and former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda was in huddle with the party leaders to resolve differences among various factions ahead of civic polls, slated later this month.

The clash occurred after workers belonging to a faction shoved those belonging to rival group.

Kamat, a former president of Mumbai Congress, had repeatedly expressed his grouse against the "working style" of Nirupam, a former Shiv
Sena leader, over distribution of party tickets for the BMC polls.

Kamat had earlier accused Nirupam of "driving out" second generation leaders of Congress and blamed his "negative attitude" for exit of former
MLA Krishna Hegde and some corporators who have joined BJP. Kamat had withdrawn himself from campaigning for the party. Nirupam had denied the charges.

"Leaders like Narayan Rane, Mohammed Arif Naseem Khan, Kripashankar Singh, Gurudas Kamat are miffed with Nirupam over the way he is
conducting the affairs of the party," said a senior party leader.

On Thursday's meeting, he said, "Hooda individually met all leaders who apprised him of the situation and how Nirupam's conduct was affecting the party at a time when it is making a serious bid to dislodge the Sena and BJP from the civic body."

On the distribution of tickets, he said," For the first time there is no Parliamentary Board in place to approve the list of candidates for the civic polls.
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