Maharashtra Congress begins hunt for next MPCC president

Congress party in-charge of Maharashtra HK Patil on Wednesday held deliberations with leaders from Maharashtra for the appointment of new state unit chief. During his meeting, a section of senior leaders pressed for continuation of Balasaheb Thorat as the president of Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) till the new national chief of the Congress party takes over after the All India Congress Committee session.

On the other hand, a few leaders made a strong case for the appointment of a new MPCC chief at the earliest especially to put on fast track the party’s revival in Maharashtra. Some leaders suggested that leaders of other backward classes (OBC) and scheduled caste (SC) should be appointed as Thorat’s successor.

Another section of the senior leaders suggested that Ashok Chavan, who headed the MPCC before Thorat’s appointment, should be reinstated as he is capable of mobilising resources and consolidating party organisation. Besides, former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan’s name was suggested by a few party leaders on the grounds that his clean image and administrative skills will be helpful for the party to regain its past glory.

This apart, names of Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Nana Patole, Medical Education Minister Amit Deshmukh, Minister of Woman and Child Welfare Yashomati Thakur and former MP Rajani Patil were also discussed. Patil will meet Congress legislators on Thursday to understand their views.

A senior minister told Free Press Journal, “There is an overall consensus that a new president should be appointed at the earliest. The party should give a chance to the OBC or SC leader instead of the Maratha leader. The party in-charge HK Patil will submit his report to the high command for final decision.” He hinted that a new state party unit chief will be in place by March.

Another minister said Ashok Chavan and Prithviraj Chavan are capable leaders to take on the NCP, which is making all efforts to spread its wings in the state.

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