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Congress expels Nirupam, he says will announce plans on Thursday

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Mumbai, Apr 3 (PTI) As Congress expelled Sanjay Nirupam on late Wednesday evening, the former MP from Mumbai who incurred the party's wrath over his remarks targeting the ally Shiv Sena (UBT) said he would announce his next decision on Thursday.

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Taking note of complaints of indiscipline and anti-party statements, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge approved Nirupam's expulsion from the party for six years with immediate effect, an official communication from the party said.

Earlier in the day, Congress dropped Nirupam's name as a star campaigner, indicating that the crisis was escalating.

Nirupam then launched a sharp attack, saying as the party was experiencing a "serious financial crisis", it should utilise the stationery and energy to save itself.

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The demand for action against Nirupam grew after he castigated the Maharashtra Congress leadership for "ceding" constituencies in Mumbai to the Uddhav Thackeray-led party during seat-sharing talks of the Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance for Lok Sabha elections.

"The Congress has dropped Nirupam's name from the list of star campaigners and disciplinary action has been initiated against him for his utterances against the party and the state unit leadership," state unit president Nana Patole had told reporters after attending a meeting of the party's campaign committee in Mumbai.

Making light of the party's action, Nirupam raised the "serious financial crisis" in Congress, apparently alluding to the Income Tax Department's action for tax demand.

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"It (Congress) should utilise the stationery and energy to save itself, as the party is experiencing a serious financial crisis. The time frame I had given to the party ends today. I will spell out my next course of action tomorrow," he tweeted.

A former MP from Mumbai North, Nirupam had hit out at the state leadership of Congress after the Shiv Sena (UBT) led by Uddhav Thackeray declared its candidates for four out of six Lok Sabha seats in Mumbai, including the Mumbai North West seat, which Nirupam is eyeing.

He had also said the Congress leadership shouldn't allow itself to be arm-twisted by Shiv Sena (UBT).

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Accepting the Shiv Sena (UBT's) decision to unilaterally field candidates in Mumbai amounted to allowing the destruction of Congress, the former Mumbai Congress president had claimed.

A former Shiv Sainik, Nirupam quit Shiv Sena in 2005.

He took up the cause of north Indian hawkers and subsequently made his way into Congress. In 2009, he successfully contested from Mumbai North seat.

Nirupam lost the 2014 elections from the same constituency against BJP's Gopal Shetty. PTI SKC MR NSK KRK

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