Dharavi MLA Varsha Gaikwad has been appointed as the new President of the Mumbai Congress. Bhai Jagptap has been shunted by the party high command.
For the past several months, resentment has been brewing against Jagtap over his style of functioning. Also, it was alleged that the party unit under his leadership was not sufficiently opposing the ruling coalition in the state.
In a surprise move before the BMC elections, the All India Congress Committee (AICC) on Friday announced change in the city party leadership.
Varsha is daughter of Eknath Gaikwad, a former MP and MRCC Preaident. Also, a four time MLA, Varsha was minister for women and child welfare between 2004 and 2009 and education minister between 2019 and 2022.
Gaikwad's appointment is being seen as the Congress' resolve to go alone for the local body election. Being a prominent face from the Dalit community, Varsha is expected to keep the traditional vote bank of the Congress in the city intact.
The announcement was made through a communique by AICC General Secretary KC Venugopal after Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge approved the new appointments.
Apart from Gaikwad's appointment, Rajya Sabha MP Shaktisinh Gohil has been appointed as the President of the Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) and Lok Sabha MP V Vaithilingam as President of the Puducherry Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC).
Who is Varsha Gaikwad?
Varsha Gaikwad is a four-term Member of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly (MLA), representing the Dharavi Assembly Constituency in Mumbai. She served as the Minister of School Education Department during the MVA government from 2019 to 2022. She is known for her proximity to Rahul Gandhi. Hailing from an Ambedkarite Buddhist family, Varsha Gaikwad's father, Eknath Gaikwad, was a three-term Member of Parliament. Prior to her political career, she worked as a lecturer at Siddharth College of Arts, Science, and Commerce in Mumbai.