If the BJP in Maharashtra is concerned about its political ties with disenchanted ally Shiv Sena, all is not well in the opposition Congress either. Milind Deora, a former parliamentarian from South Mumbai, has indicated that infighting in the party ranks may force him to sit out the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
"I will put my grievances in front of the party leadership at an opportune time," he told NDTV, referring to the ongoing hostilities between Mumbai Congress president Sanjay Nirupam and other leaders. "There are many feeling left out and are sitting at home."
The disgruntled leader also tweeted his concern over the Mumbai Congress becoming "a cricket pitch for sectarian politics", with leaders pitted against each other. "INCIndia is leading a powerful, united campaign across India. Infighting cannot, and should not, be allowed to threaten our base in Mumbai. I appeal to all Congress leaders in Mumbai to unite as a team. We owe this much to our party and to Congress president Rahul Gandhi," he said on the social networking website.
The former parliamentarian said that while he does not want to discuss internal party affairs in public, recent developments have forced him to reiterate his commitment to ensuring that the Mumbai Congress remains a symbol of the city's diversity. "In a city like Mumbai, which happens to be the economic and cultural capital of India, there is a need to bring people together," he added.
Mr Deora, however, claimed to have full faith in the central leadership and its commitment to the party's ideology and principles in Mumbai - "where the Congress was born".
A delegation of local leaders had earlier met party chief Rahul Gandhi with a plea that Mr Deora be considered for the Mumbai president's post. Mr Nirupam responded by downplaying the dispute -- stating that the issue will be resolved once the party leadership meets local office-bearers. "I am aware of the issue. But the party leadership will take a call on this," he said.
(With inputs from Agencies)