Self-serving action, says Mumbai Congress chief after Baba Siddique exits party | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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Self-serving action, says Mumbai Congress chief after Baba Siddique exits party

Feb 08, 2024 03:51 PM IST

Baba Siddiquie announced his exit from the Congress on X, formerly Twitter, recalling his 48-year-long association with the Congress that started when he was still a teenager

MUMBAI: Baba Siddique, a prominent Mumbai Congress leader, on Thursday resigned from the party and will join the Ajit Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party at an event in Bandra East on February 10. Siddique’s exit is the second setback to the Mumbai Congress after former Union minister Milind Deora exited the party on January 14 to join the Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena last month

Baba Siddique’s son Zeeshan, 31, is the MLA from Bandra East and is likely to follow his father before the Maharashtra assembly elections later this year (HT PHoto/Satish Bate)
Baba Siddique’s son Zeeshan, 31, is the MLA from Bandra East and is likely to follow his father before the Maharashtra assembly elections later this year (HT PHoto/Satish Bate)

Siddiquie announced his exit from the Congress on X, formerly Twitter, recalling his 48-year-long association with the Congress that started when he was still a teenager. “Today I resign from the primary membership of the Indian National Congress Party @INCIndia with immediate effect,” the 66-year-old politician said.

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“There’s a lot I would have liked to express but as they say some things are better left unsaid. I thank everyone who has been a part of this journey,” added Baba Siddique, who was mentored by actor-politician Sunil Dutt in his younger days and rose to become a minister in previous Congress governments.

His son Zeeshan, 31, is the MLA from Bandra East and is likely to follow his father before the Maharashtra assembly elections later this year. Both of them had responded to speculation earlier this week that they were likely to join the NCP with a firm denial.

But as Siddique finally announced on Thursday morning, Mumbai Congress chief Varsha Gaikwad hit out at the veteran politician, describing his “self-serving action” as “deeply disappointing and most regrettable”.

“That you’ve chosen to do this at a time when our country is at a critical juncture and the entire Congress Parivar is engaged in fighting against the systemic murder of democracy by the BJP is quite telling, but as you said, some things are best left unsaid,” Gaikwad said.

Congress leaders said her remarks suggested that Siddique’s exit from the party could also be linked to shielding his business - he is a builder - from potential action by law enforcement agencies. He has also been under investigation by the Enforcement Directorate.

Besides, the Siddique family is not the only one looking at exiting the party. People familiar with the matter said the Congress could lose two more Muslim faces, Mumbadevi MLA Amin Patel and Malad West MLA Aslam Shaikh.

Amin Patel has been a close associate of Milind Deora while Aslam Shaikh, 51, also faces a ED probe.

If the three, Amin Patel, Aslam Sheikh and Zeeshan Siddique quit as is being widely speculated, the Mumbai Congress chief Varsha Gaikwad who represents Dharavi would be the party’s only MLA in Mumbai.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Faisal is with the political team and covers state administration and state politics. He also covers NCP.

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