Major shake-up on cards for Maharashtra Congress
According to party insiders, the Maharashtra Congress is looking at a major shake-up in its state executive committee
According to party insiders, the Maharashtra Congress is looking at a major shake-up in its state executive committee. State president Nana Patole may not be removed even though senior leaders in the state are unhappy with his style of functioning. However, the party’s Maharashtra In-Charge H K Patil is likely to be replaced.
The decision is likely to be based on the report submitted by senior leader Ramesh Chennithala, who was dispatched to Mumbai to submit a report after infighting in the grand old party came to the fore. The state Congress unit was found struggling with internal bickering in the recently held legislative council elections even as it won two council seats, that too in BJP strongholds Nagpur and Amravati as well as the Kasba Peth bypoll that was with the BJP for nearly three decades.
Despite complaints, the leadership seems to be happy with Patole against the backdrop of the back-to-back victories for the Congress in the recently held polls. “He has been asked to take everyone along so that the friction with other senior leaders can be avoided,” said a senior leader. “Patole was also strictly asked to refrain from talking negatively about Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) allies — the NCP and Shiv Sena (UBT).” According to a few Congress leaders, Patole has also built a favourable equation with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.
Patole, when contacted, said that changes in the organisational set-up were necessary, as everyone needed to be given a chance. “If the party leadership wants, it can replace me. What the leadership thinks is more important for me rather than what others want. They have my performance report and can make a decision accordingly,” he said.
As far as the Maharashtra In-Charge is concerned, Chennithala could replace Patil, as he was president of the National Students Union of India and Indian Youth Congress and personally knows most of the Congress leaders from the state and this will help in better coordination.
It is also believed that Mumbai Congress chief Bhai Jagtap will be removed from his position. The leadership is looking for a new face for the city unit ahead of the BMC elections, as it is of the opinion that Jagtap failed to utilise the opportunity entrusted to him more than two years ago.
The leadership was upset with Jagtap when Chandrakant Handore, the first choice of candidate for the party, was defeated in the legislative council polls held in June 2022. Jagtap, who was the second choice for the polls, won the elections, leading to embarrassment for the party.
Jagtap’s ouster is believed to have been confirmed after newly elected Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge flew down to Mumbai to celebrate the party’s foundation day on December 28. The ground was visibly empty when Kharge was addressing the gathering, which upset him, said insiders.
Party leaders are lobbying in Delhi for a few names for the Mumbai chief post such as Chandrakant Handore, Varsha Gaikwad, Milind Deora, Sanjay Nirupam, Amarjit Singh Manhas and Ganesh Kumar Yadav among others.