Shalini Vikhe Patil, wife of transport minister Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil and president of the Ahmednagar Zilla Parishad has been asked to quit by the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee.
The committee on Saturday gave notices to seven of its elected representatives from three districts including Parbhani, Latur and Ahmednagar, asking them to step down from the post.
Vikhe Patil served as the Ahmednagar ZP president for three years. Last year, she contested as a rebel opposing official candidate Satyajit Tambe, nephew of Agriculture Minister Balasaheb Thorat.
There has been a long standing rivalry between the Vikhe Patil and Thorat families in Ahmednagar to wrest control over the district.
The state party unit members said the decision was taken to give a signal that party indiscipline will not be tolerated, even if the rebels had strong political backing.
In Latur, former Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh’s home turf, rebel candidate Pandit Dhumal, supported by Deshmukh’s detractors including Shivajirao Nilangekar Patil, had won the ZP elections. Dhumal has also been asked to step down.
“All those who did anti-party activities were asked to step down. We have given notices to four elected representatives from Ahmednagar, one from Parbhani and two from Latur. We expect their resignations soon,” said party spokesperson Hussain Dalwai.
The Deshmukh lobby within the state was critical of the elections in Latur and Ahmednagar and had demanded sacking of the rebels. In the ZP elections held in December last year, Congress backed 13 out of the 27 districts.