Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi’s impact on state Congress appointments

Mumbai: The Congress party, while appointing one State president along with five working presidents, has tried to ensure justice and representation to all key social and regional factors. The Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi’s (VBA) impact is clearly evident in these appointments as Congress has tried to do social engineering to counter damage by VBA.

In these newly-appointed president and working presidents, there are two Marathas, one OBC, one Dalit and one Muslim. The VBA had damaged the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) badly due to their social engineering in Lok Sabha elections.

The appointment of Balasaheb Thorat as state Congress president has various reasons. First and foremost is that he belongs to the Maratha community. His father Bhausaheb Thorat was highly respected name in the Sugar Cooperative Sector. Balasaheb Thorat is very senior and seasoned Congress leader. He is Member of Legislative Assembly since 1985 and has handled Agriculture, Revenue, Water Resources, Education Department as a minister. He is considered as very good administrator, at the same time is also known as a low profile leader and a man of few words.

Caste Balance

The Congress party has appointed Nitin Raut, Yeshomati Thakur, Basavraj Patil, Vishwajeet Kadam and Muzaffar Hussain as its working presidents. Raut is Dalit leader of Congress party. Like Prakash Ambedkar he too is a staunch Dalit follower of Dr BR Ambedkar. Dalit community in the state holds key to power in various constituencies. Raut’s appointment may be useful for the party. Yeshomati Thakur is considered close to Rahul Gandhi and is a known OBC face of the Congress.

BJP has recently appointed Dr Anil Bonde, a Kunbi legislator and Kunbi caste is majority in Vidarbha which consists of 60 Assembly seats. Being a woman, she is quite appealing among women voters. Basavraj Patil is also senior legislator and senior Lingayat leader from the state. Lingayats are in key factors in Latur, Solapur and few other distrcts of Maharashtra.

Recently elected Lok Sabha member of BJP from Solapur is from Lingayat community. Vishwajeet Kadam repersents youth among Congress and he is the son of former minister Patangrao Kadam. Vishwajeet is also a Maratha leader and was Youth Congress President. He leads the empire of Bharti University in the state.

Muzaffar Hussain is an aggressive Muslim leader and loyalist of Congress party. His appointment will help Congress to send a strong signal among Muslim community and to counter All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) party.

Regional Tilt

Congress has tried to achieve a good regional balance in these appointments. Raut and Thakur are from Vidarbha, which was once a bastion of Congress and now BJP’s and RSS’s key leadership came from this region. Basavraj Patil belongs to Marathwada, an important region of Maharashtra. Thorat and Kadam belongs to Western Maharashtra which is a stronghold of the NCP. Hussain belongs to Thane district and thus he represents Mumbai-Thane and Palghar districts which have more than 60 seats in the Assembly.

- Pramod Chunchuwar

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