Mumbai: In a major jolt to the Mumbai Congress ahead of local civic elections, Nizamuddin Rayeen, Chairman of Mumbai Congess Committee Minority Department, resigned from his post alleging that the local party leadership is ignoring Muslims while distributing tickets.
Along with Rayeen, other office bearers of the Congress Minority Department and more than 03 dozen leaders have also put in their papers, even as Rayeen's supporters urged them to remain in the party and fight the "RSS agents" in the Congress.
"For 32 years I served the Congress and in the past several years tried to bring the community closer to the party. But now I am leaving it because some communal elements with deep-rooted hatred for the Muslims don't want me to remain vocal and assertive," Rayeen said while addressing a crowded press conference Saturday evening.
In the press meet, Rayeen announced his resignation not only as Chairman of Congress Minority Department but also as the primary member of the Congress Party.
"What's use of remaining in the party when we cannot get party tickets for the honest and loyal workers who devoted and worked hard for the Congress", he added.
Those who resigned from Congress along with Nizamuddin Rayeen included Zonal Chairman Sadiq Lateef Khan, Chairman of Mumbai Suburbs Minority Cell Ab Aziz Shaikh, Aslam Khan of South Mumbai District Congress, Mushtaq Ahemad Khan of South Central District Congress, Qayyum Tamboli of North Central District Congress, Asif Chogle of North East District Congress, Abdul Gafoor of North West District Congress and over forty other leaders working on different posts.
Rayeen said the minority department had handed over a list of party workers who were willing to contest the ensuing BMC elections on the request of the party high command.
"However totally ignoring the names of party workers suggested by us, the so called parliamentary board is giving party tickets to others", Rayeen said.
Rayeen also said that parliamentary board is a 'mere eyewash" and everything has already been decided before hand.
Though Rayeen said he will disclose in the next few days his future move, sources close to him revealed that he is most likely to join Asaduddin Owaisi's All Indian Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM).
Contesting the BMC election for the first time, the AIMIM is receiving huge response in many wards of the city.
The Mumbai Municipal Corporation currently ruled by the Shiv Sena will go to the polls on February 21, 2017.
Meanwhile, Congress city unit president Sanjay Nirupam had called Rayeen's resignation a hasty decision.
"The district committees formed to choose nominations are yet to submit their reports. No final decision on the tickets has been taken. Rayeen should have waited for the final list," said Nirupam.