Congress legislators’ feedback sought for choosing next State unit president

Congress MLAs and MLCs from Maharashtra have been directed by the top brass to present their opinions in selection of a new State president of the party.

State Congress in-charge H.K. Patil will meet the elected representatives on Wednesday and Thursday to seek their feedback.

“He will be holding a meeting with senior party leaders, including current State unit chief Balasaheb Thorat and former chief ministers Ashok Chavan and Prithviraj Chavan, tonight (Tuesday night),” a party functionary, who did not wish to be named, said.

Mr. Thorat had on Monday visited Delhi in his attempt to continue as the State president of the party. A day later he said that he had not yet given his resignation and his trip to Delhi had no relation whatsoever about the change of guard.

“I have conveyed time and again to the leadership that I am presently carrying a number of responsibilities and have also said that if the party wants I will be more than happy to give up some of the responsibilities,” he said.

At present, Mr. Thorat holds the posts of State Congress president, Congress legislative party leader, and Revenue Minister of Maharashtra.

“I will welcome whoever comes forward to take up the responsibility and the party leadership will take a decision on this. As of now, I have not resigned from my post,” he pointed out.

Among the names being discussed as the new State president of the party are Energy Minister Nitin Raut, Animal Husbandry Minister Sunil Kedar, Medical Education Minister Amit Deshmukh, Women and Child Welfare Minister Yashomati Thakur, Relief and Rehabilitation Minister Vijay Vadettiwar, former Maharashtra Congress chief Manikrao Thakre, and former chief ministers Mr. Prithviraj Chavan and Mr. Ashok Chavan.

The party’s Central leadership is reportedly unhappy with the State leaders who were found to be on the defensive about their lacklustre performance in the tripartite Maha Vikas Aghadi government, where the other two partners are the Shiv Sena and the Nationalist Congress Party. Recently, United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi had to write to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray about the common minimum programme and the budgetary provisions for the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe communities.

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