Mumbai: Congress is dilly-dallying over the post of Leader of Opposition. Even after the announcement of its leaders to various legislative party post, the confusion on who will be the Leader of Opposition (LOP) still continues. Congress on Friday appointed former Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat as the Leader of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) in Maharashtra Assembly. Besides Thorat, Vijay Wadettiwar as leader of the party in the Assembly. Till now Wadettiwar was Deputy Leader of Party in Assembly. These appointments has signalled competition between Thorat and Wadettiwar for the post of Leader of Opposition.
Thorat is most likely to be the L LOP as he is loyalist to Congress Party. He belongs to the same Ahmednagar district from where former LOP Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil was. Vikhe resigned as a Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) on June 4. Before that, he had stepped down from the post of Leader of Opposition in the Assembly in April. He held both the posts — Leader of Congress Legislature Party and Leader of party in Assembly. But now Congress has distributed these two posts between two different leaders. Thorat is an experienced administrator and senior leader. He is known opponent of Vikhe Patil. By appointing him as LOP, Congress is trying to minimise future damage from Vikhe in Ahmednagar district.
Wadettiwar may be disappointed
Till now Vijay Wadettiwar, the leader from Chandrapur district was heading the race for LOP post. As he played a crucial role in ensuring victory of only Congress candidate Balu Dhanorkar in 2019 Lok Sabha election, he was expected to be rewarded by LOP post. He is aggressive and senior MLA. He is close to Party State President Ashok Chavan. But, he is junior to Thorat.
Till now, he was Congress party deputy leader in Assembly. Since he belongs to Vidarbha like Fadnavis, it was being said that he may get chance to corner government especially BJP which is mainly lead by leaders from Vidarbha. KC Padvi, Sunil Kedar, Jayakumar Gore, Yashomati Thakur and Praniti Sushilkumar Shine as Whips. In the Legislative Council, Sharad Ranpise has been appointed Leader while Ramhari G Rupnavar has been appointed Deputy Leader. Ashok alias Bhai Jagtap has been made the Whip in the Council.
“Unless the Opposition parties pass a resolution for the name of the Leader Of Opposition, it can not be said who will be LOP — Thorat or Wadettiwar? Mere selection to the post of Leader of Legislature Party or Party Leader in Assembly does not qualify any one to be the LOP. The resolution has to be submitted to the Speaker and after his sanction, LOP will be appointed,” Anant Kalse,
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