Mumbai: Senior Congress leader Milind Deora on Saturday, January 13, dismissed as ‘rumours’ the speculation that he was on his way out and would join the Shiv Sena led by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde.
Deora, who recently made his displeasure over the Shiv Sena (UBT) staking a claim to the Mumbai South Lok Sabha constituency public, however, told reporters that he is holding discussions with his supporters.
“I am listening to my supporters… Haven’t taken a decision yet,” the former Mumbai South MP said when asked if he was chalking out a plan with his supporters.
These are rumours, he said while responding to a query on reports in some sections of the media that he was quitting the Congress to join the Shiv Sena led by Eknath Shinde.
The Uddhav Thackeray-led group had staked a claim to contest the Mumbai South constituency, represented by Deora before 2014, in the upcoming general elections, which has not gone down well with the Congress leader.
In a video statement issued last Sunday, Deora said that if such statements by an “alliance partner” don’t stop, his party too can announce candidates for seats.
The Shiv Sena (UBT) is an alliance partner of the Congress and the NCP (Sharad Pawar faction) in the Maha Vikas Aghadi.
Deora had said, since the formal talks on sharing of seats are yet to be concluded, nobody should make claims and counter-claims.
Deora, son of Congress veteran Murli Deora, had won the Mumbai South seat in 2004 and 2009. He ended up as the first runner-up in the subsequent elections in 2014 and 2019 against Shiv Sena (Undivided) leader Arvind Sawant.
Deora had said that his family represented the seat for 50 years and wasn’t elected on any ‘wave’.