New Delhi: Former Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam on Sunday urged the party to introspect why it lost 2% votes in the recently held Maharashtra Assembly Elections, instead of hoping for an alliance with the Shiv Sena, which he called a ‘futile exercise.’

Nirupam, who earlier this year resigned as Mumbai Congress chief, earlier today tweeted, “To the best of my understanding, Shiv Sena will never ever come out of the shadow of BJP. So, there is no point in flirting with them. It’s going to be a futile exercise. Hope the state leaders will realise the truth.”

He added, “Instead of doing futile exercise, we must introspect why the party has lost 2 percentage of votes as compared to the 2014 assembly election. We are down from 17 % to 15 % this time as total polled votes are concerned. As a party, we have come down to the 4th number from 3rd in the state.”

 

BJP emerged as the single-largest party in the elections, winning 105 seats out of 164 seats it contested in agreement with the Shiv Sena, which was the second-largest party, winning 56 seats out of 124 contested by it. Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), an ally of the Congress was third with 54, followed by the Congress’ 44.

However, with the Shiv Sena now playing hardball with the BJP over the post of the Chief Minister, which it wants for Thackeray family scion Aaditya, who won from Worli, for 2.5 years of the five-year term, there have been reports that the Congress might consider an offer from the Shiv Sena to form the government, even as the NCP has made it clear it won’t ally with the Sena.

In the build-up to the elections, Nirupam had announced he won’t be a part of the party’s campaign, saying that it looked like the party did not need or want his services anymore.

Days later, he also predicted that the Congress would lose heavily in both Maharashtra and suggested that leaders like Mallikarjun Kharge, Jyotiraditya Scindia and BS Hooda should be expelled from the party.