After Milind Deora, ex-minister Baba Z. Siddique quits Congress

Mumbai: In a jolt to Maharashtra Congress on Thursday, a senior leader — Bandra strongman and ex-minister Baba Ziauddin Siddique, has resigned from the party’s primary membership with immediate effect — barely a month after another veteran Milind M. Deora had quit.

Siddique, 65, who was a party loyalist through thick and thin for some 48 years, announced his resignation on an ‘X’ post, which was in speculation for the past few days in political circles.

“I joined the Indian National Congress Party as a young teenager and it has been a significant journey lasting 48 years… there’s a lot I would have liked to express but as they say, some things are better left unsaid,” said Siddique in his sign off tweet.

Though he has not indicated his future plans, he is likely to throw in his lot with the Nationalist Congress Party led by Deputy CM Ajit Pawar, with whom he enjoys cosy personal and political equations. In a brief media interaction, Siddique said “at times, you speak out your mind, but things are not done despite putting forth your views repeatedly”.

“Hence, I felt it’s better to move aside. Some things are best left unsaid,” he said but with a velvety warning that he would not spare anyone if ‘poked’ unnecessarily.

He warmly recalled his association with top Congress leaders like the former PMs Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and his relations with the late Sanjay Gandhi and even Rahul Gandhi now.

Mumbai Congress President Prof. Varsha Gaikwad, in a terse reaction, said: “People are changing parties like clothes. He has left for his own selfish reasons. What to say about people who are not loyal to the party and its idology!”

Siddique was elected BMC Municipal Corporator twice in 1992 and 1997, and served as an MLA from the prestigious Bandra West Assembly constituency for three terms in 1999, 2004 and 2009, plus as Chairman of MHADA (2000-2004).

Incidentally, his son, Zeeshan Siddique, 34, is the current Congress MLA from Bandra East constituency, and also leader of the Mumbai Youth Congress.

Siddique Sr’s bolt from the blue came amid reports that over a dozen other state Congress leaders, including some MLAs, are vacillating on their future plans and exploring avenues for greener pastures ahead of the Lok Sabha and then the Maharashtra Assembly polls this year.

On his part, Siddique maintains close contacts with the entertainment industry and top Bollywood personalities, and was close to the late Sunil Dutt and his children, Priya Dutta, Sanjay Dutt and Namrata Dutt, besides other political-glamour players.


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