Mumbai : After Lok Sabha poll debacle in the state, the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) had convened a meeting of its executive on Monday. Except Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, no other senior Congress minister attended the crucial meeting but Industries Minister Narayan Rane, who had put in his papers, reportedly held a parallel meeting at his official bungalow.
After its massive defeat in Lok Sabha polls in the State, MPCC expressed total confidence in All India Congress Committee (AICC) leadership and plans to reach out to its grassroots cadre ahead of upcoming Assembly elections.
At a meeting of MPCC office-bearers held in Tilak Bhavan here, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and MPCC chief Manikrao Thakre urged the party workers to sink their differences and work for the Assembly elections.
Chavan indicated that the Model Code of Conduct for Assembly elections is likely to be enforced by the end of August.
“We need to unitedly face the challenge and fight the Assembly polls positively,” both the leaders said.
A resolution was adopted unanimously resolving to face future political challenges with full strength and in an organised manner, without straying from the party’s core principles and policies.
The MPCC president also told reporters here on Monday that three-day Lok Sabha constituency-wise meetings have been convened from May 21 to take stock of the situation after the unprecedented defeat.
“Candidates, MLAs, district unit chiefs and office-bearers will attend the meeting,” he said.
“After getting feedback from workers, we will improve upon our mistakes and work harder to win back the confidence of the people,” Thakre said.
Meanwhile, Thakre said that both he and Chief Minister Chavan have owned up moral responsibility for the debacle.
“The issue will not be resolved with one or two resignations. We will wait for directives from the AICC as the defeat is nationwide and not only in Maharashtra,” he said.
Thakre said that the three-day meetings from May 21 would focus on 27 seats which the Congress contested.
Thereafter, deliberations would be held with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) since the Congress would also contest Assembly segments in Lok Sabha seats in the NCP quota.
He said that a meeting of Congress and NCP leaders is likely to be held on Tuesday.
Incidentally, the Congress won only two seats and the NCP won only four seats in the just concluded Lok Sabha polls.
“We committed mistakes which is why voters rejected us. We will analyse what went wrong and take corrective measures,” Thakre said.
Thakre said that in the Risod Assembly by-election, the Congress won by more than 10,000 votes, while in the Lok Sabha election, it fared poorly from the segment which falls in the Vidarbha region.
CM refuses to accept ministers’ resignations
“Though I accepted the responsibility of party’s defeat in Lok Sabha elections in the state, it’s a collective responsibility. Hence, resignations of Industries Minister Narayan Rane and EGS Minister Nitin Raut are not being accepted. Decision regarding me will be taken by the party high command and I will accept it,” stated Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan. As many as 76 members of the MPCC attended the meeting but senior Congress ministers including Narayan Rane, Nitin Raut, Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, Patangrao Kadam, Shivajirao Moghe did not attend it. As per reports, Rane held a meeting of MLAs at his Malabar Hill bungalow. Meanwhile, former chief minister and newly elected Congress MP from Nanded Ashok Chavan met party high command in New Delhi on Monday. He will meet Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday. Besides Ashok Chavan, ministers Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, Harshwardhan Patil and others were also in Delhi to plead high command to resolve soon the leadership issue in the state.