'Congress leaders unhappy with Thakre over Deshmukh function' | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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'Congress leaders unhappy with Thakre over Deshmukh function'

State Congress president Manikrao Thakre is reportedly in trouble over his decision to keep former chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh’s ashes in all district party offices and later immerse them.

mumbai Updated: Sep 03, 2012 02:16 IST
Ketaki Ghoge

State Congress president Manikrao Thakre is reportedly in trouble over his decision to keep former chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh’s ashes in all district party offices and later immerse them.

Party sources said that a senior Congress leader, who is close to the party high command, called Thakre on Friday night and reprimanded him.

Sources said that Thakre had announced the function — to keep the urn in district Congress offices for party workers to pay their respects and immerse the ashes — without taking permission from the party high command. On Friday, he held the immersion at the Banganga. “The protocol in the Congress, in the event of the funeral of a senior leader, is that the prime minister and party president attend the funeral. There was no need other than self promotion for Thakre to hold this function,” said a Congress minister.

After Andhra Pradesh chief minister YSR Reddy’s death, there was a request from the family to have a procession with the urn containing his ashes through the state. This was turned down by the party’s top leadership. Similarly, when the Arunachal Pradesh chief minister died, other than the condolence meeting, the party held no other function.

“Deshmukh’s family handed over the urn to avoid embarrassment, but refused to attend the functions. The chief minister did not attend the Banganga function, though he attended a prayer meeting organised by the family on the same day,” said a senior party functionary. He said that Deshmukh’s supporters also gave the function a miss.

Sources said the move could upset Thakre’s plans for the coming cabinet reshuffle, as it is the second time in the recent past where the state party president was caught on the wrong foot. Last month, he received flak for allegedly circulating a letter by party MLAs complaining against chief minister Prithviraj Chavan.