Maharashtra Congress chief called to Delhi after decision on contesting elections independently

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Express News Service

MUMBAI: Maharashtra Congress party president Nana Patole abruptly suspended his state tour and rushed to Delhi to discuss the current political situation in state and even finalise the name for the speaker post for Maharashtra state Assembly.

According to sources, Congress leadership in Delhi called Maharashtra Congress president after his announcement of contesting all local body and state assembly elections on its own.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray expressed displeasure over Congress’ political announcement in time of the pandemic.

On other hands, the announcement of Nana Patole was able to make some buzz and energise the party cadres. Mr Patole’s tour is also getting an overwhelming response and many people are also joining the Congress as well.

Sources said that when Nana Patole resigned as speaker of the state Assembly and appointed as president of Maharashtra Congress party, he had put the demand of giving Cabinet ministry, particularly Energy.

“Patole told the party leadership that while running the party there has to be some strong resources, therefore, he has to be given revenue generating ministry plus state president post. But incumbent energy minister Nitin Raut was reluctant to leave the ministry and join as Speaker. In the budget session, Mr Patole tried to push hard but other senior Congress in the state did not support, But the monsoon session of the state assembly is scheduled on July 5 and 6 so Nitin Raut can be appointed as speaker. That way, it will pay the way for Mr Patole to become the minister as well,” said the sources adding that it is one of the main reasons urgently calling Patole in Delhi.

“Party leadership is not happy with Nitin Raut, but he is a prominent Dalit face so the party could not afford to ignore him completely. Raut had developed cosy relationship with industrlaist Gautam Adani that has not gone well with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi therefore party leadership has made up it’s mind to replace Raut,” the source added requested anonymity.

The Senior Congress leader said that it is clear that the in-state Shiv Sena and the NCP may join the hand so the Congress has no option but to opt for the solo fights in local body and state assembly elections.

“The stand taken by Nana Patole is right. Rather than living in illusion, it is better to clear about the future and work on the strategy that will not only strengthen the party but expand the base ahead of polls,” the leader added.

Nana Patole was not available for comment.



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