Senior Congress leader Balasaheb Thorat was on Friday named Congress Legislature Party leader in Maharashtra, the first appointment in the grand old party after its drubbing in the Lok Sabha elections.
This was also a rare occasion when the name was cleared by the All India Congress Committee, and not the party chief.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi is reportedly abroad and is expected to return before the commencement of the budget session of Parliament on June 17.
Gandhi offered to resign at the Congress Working Committee meeting on May 25 following the party’s rout in the Lok Sabha elections. The party managed to win just 52 seats. He asked the CWC to appoint a new chief but the party’s highest decision-making body rejected the offer and passed a resolution, authorising him to revamp the organisation.
Congress functionaries said the appointment had to be cleared by the AICC as monsoon session of the Maharashtra assembly begins from Monday. It will be the last session of the assembly before the elections in October.
In a letter to party general secretary incharge of Maharashtra, Mallikarjun Kharge, and state unit chief Ashok Chavan, general secretary incharge organisation KC Venugopal said the AICC has approved their proposal on the appointment of floor leaders in both houses of the assembly.
Thorat replaced arch-rival Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, who quit the CLP leader’s post days after his son Sujay joined the Bharatiya Janata Party and successfully contested the Lok Sabha polls from Ahmednagar.
The Congress also appointed Vijay Namdeorao Waddetiwar, currently its deputy leader in the assembly, as the floor leader and Mohammed Arif Naseem Khan will be his deputy.
Meanwhile, ahead of their participation in the NITI Aayog governing council meeting on Saturday, Congress chief ministers met over dinner on Friday.
Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath hosted his counterparts from Rajasthan (Ashok Gehlot) and Chhattisgarh (Bhupesh Baghel) at his Delhi residence.
Former Madhya Pradesh CM Digvijaya Singh, former Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda and former Union minister Anand Sharma too were present.
Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh did not attend the dinner meeting, held to discuss the party’s strategy in the wake of reports suggesting that Gandhi remains adamant on his resignation offer
Jun 15, 2019 00:01 IST