The choice of leaders in the 81-member Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) – approved by the All India Congress Committee (AICC) on Wednesday – is reflective of the increasing influence of the MPCC chief Manikrao Thakre and Union social justice minister Mukul Wasnik.
Union minister and former minister Vilasrao Deshmukh was lobbying for Thakre to be replaced with his staunch supporter Jayawantrao Awale, the executive president of MPCC. However, Awale and some of Deshmukh’s supporters have not been included in the committee. The post of executive president too has been abolished.
The new committee will have 8 vice-presidents, 25 general secretaries, 38 secretaries and 8 spokespersons. Only two of Deshmukh’s trusted men — Sudhakar Gangane (vice-president) and Ulhas Pawar (spokesperson) — have been retained.
Meanwhile, sizeable representation has been given to former chief ministers (CM) Ashok Chavan and Sushilkumar Shinde and present CM Prithviraj Chavan, who did not press much for his supporters’ inclusion.
While CM-aspirant Narayan Rane’s son Nilesh has been made general secretary despite being an MP, his Rajya Sabha counterpart Hussain Dalwai did not make it to the post of vice-president. Another ex-CM AR Antulay got his nephew Mushtaq Antulay elevated to the post of vice-president.
Former minister and Pune MLA Ramesh Bagwe has been made the general secretary.
Sanjay Dutt, who quit his Vidhan Parishad seat for the CM, Muzaffar Hussain and Ganesh Patil will continue as general secretaries. Anant Gadgil, Janardan Chandurkar (ex-MLA from Mumbai), Bhai Jagtap (MLC) and Ratnakar Mahajan will be the spokespersons.