Congress has officially kicked off an exercise to appoint a new president of the Maharashtra unit. Congress party in-charge of Maharashtra HK Patil will hold an interaction on Wednesday with senior state leaders to know their views on the present incumbent Balasaheb Thorat’s successor. As reported by the Free Press Journal, Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Nana Patole, Energy Minister Nitin Raut, Woman and Child Welfare Minister Yashomati Thakur, Medical Education Minister Amit Deshmukh and former Member of the Parliament (MP) Rajani Patil are the frontrunners for the post of Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) president.
Patil told the Free Press Journal, “At the meeting slated for Wednesday, I will understand the views of the senior party leaders on Thorat’s successor and steps to be taken for smooth transition.”
Thorat has already denied that he has submitted his resignation to the party high command. However, he said, “I have made a fresh request to relieve me from the responsibility of MPCC president and allow me to continue as the legislative party leader and the Revenue Minister in the Maha Vikas Aghadi government. I had earlier made the request in October.” He hoped the party high command would take a decision at an appropriate time.
Patole, who had lost the Lok Sabha elections against Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, has been making a strong case for his appointment as the state unit chief as he is not keen to continue as the Assembly Speaker in view of legislative protocols and curbs. He hails from Other Backward Classes (OBC) and from the Congress party’s erstwhile stronghold Vidarbha. Similarly, Raut and Thakur come from Vidarbha. They have argued that, after appointment, they will work for the Congress party’s revival, especially in the Vidarbha region with 62 Assembly seats and 8 Lok Sabha seats.
As far as Amit Deshmukh is concerned, he is the son of veteran Congress leader and former Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh. Age is at his side, besides he can be instrumental in luring youth in the party. He hails from the underdeveloped Marathwada region.
Moreover, Rajani Patil, who enjoys proximity with party’s interim president Sonia Gandhi and former president Rahul Gandhi, also comes from Marathwada. She has been a Rajya Sabha MP and has worked in Himachal Pradesh and currently in Jammu and Kashmir as the party’s in-charge.