Mumbai, (The Hindu): In a first-ever interaction between a Congress president with the party’s corporators in Mumbai, party chief Rahul Gandhi discussed civic issues with elected representatives on Tuesday night.
Mr. Gandhi had set time aside to meet the 30 corporators. He was introduced to each of them by senior leaders, and took pictured with every corporator.
In an hour-long interaction at MCA in Bandra Kurla Complex, Mr. Gandhi told the corporators to fight for better civic amenities for Mumbaikars, irrespective of the party’s numbers in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). He discussed the poor performance in the BMC election last year, and the challenges the corporators faced.
Corporators pointed out issues in desilting drains and roadworks, especially with the arrival of the monsoon.
Congress group leader Ravi Raja said, “The president asked us how we could improve our vote share next time. He heard us out patiently and gave guidance. He said if anybody has grievances, they should reach out to their superiors instead of bickering with each other.” Mr. Gandhi said every single corporator was special to him. “He congratulated us for getting the numbers we have despite the election becoming a fight between the Shiv Sena-BJP,” Mr. Raja said.
Kurla corporator Ashraf Azmi said, “Rahulji told us that no matter how few we are in number, we should continue to fight for the people. He said even in Parliament, though the Congress is not in majority, it has not allowed a single anti-people legislation to go through.”
Mr. Azmi attributed the election loss to the lack of good candidates for some seats and said the election was fought on caste and religious lines. “Mr. Gandhi told me, ‘Let them do it. We will not stoop to that level’,” Mr. Azmi said.
Thipsay to join Congress
Former Bombay High Court Judge Abhay Thipsay on Tuesday decided to join the Congress in presence of party president Rahul Gandhi at MCA club in Bandra Kurla Complex on Tuesday. Rajya Sabha MP Kumar Ketkar was said to be instrumental in Mr. Thipsay deciding to join the party.
Mr. Thipsay told the The Hindu, “I haven’t signed any form, but today I met Rahul Gandhi and I have agreed to be a part of Congress. It is almost certain, but it is not on paper.” He said one cannot fight “fascist tendencies and communalism” on one’s own.
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