Top Maharashtra netas reluctant to enter fray amid AICC push

(This story originally appeared in on Sep 18, 2019)MUMBAI: The Congress top brass has asked former MPs and Union ministers like Milind Deora, Sushil Kumar Shinde and other senior Congress leaders in Maharashtra to contest the forthcoming assembly polls. The move comes after reports of the Congress dismal position in the state and is being seen as the partys attempt to mount a spirited challenge against the BJP and Shiv Sena.
Congress leaders said the suggestion came last week after the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee was asked to prepare a list of leaders who would be contesting the polls. The names of Milind Deora, former Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam, former union minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and others were given to the Congress screening committee to be considered for the Maharashtra assembly polls. Deora, Nirupam, Shinde and Vilas Muttemwar are being persuaded to contest the polls.
Congress leaders said the idea has not been received well. Sushil Kumar Shinde, for one, found it ridiculous, according to party sources.
Shinde had apparently told the party that he was even unwilling to contest the 2019 Lok Sabha polls but contested it under party pressure.

Since his daughter Praniti Shinde is already contesting the polls, there is no question of him returning to state politics.Former MP from Nagpur, Vilas Muttemwar, initially told ET that his name was not in the list but later said there was no question of him contesting as his son Vishal was contesting the assembly polls. “I dont need to contest if my son is contesting because my involvement is there in his election campaign. I dont know about the list, but the high command could probably be thinking that the involvement of senior leaders is important. However, in my case, my son will contest. So, I dont need to,” Muttemwar said.
Shinde did not respond to comments. “I am not aware of any such list and I have not been asked by the party to contest the assembly polls,” said Nirupam. Deora told ET, “The party does not have a policy as far as I am aware. I am not interested in contesting the state elections,” Deora said.
Rajeev Satav, former MP from Hingoli, has also been askOriginal Article

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