'Anarchy' in Maha Congress', change party chief, demands state leader

Mumbai, Jan 17 (IANS): In a jolt for the Congress, a party leader in Maharashtra on Tuesday claimed that there is "anarchy" in the state unit for which state President Nana Patole is responsible, and has sought his removal.

The demand has been in a letter penned to Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge by former legislator from Nagpur Dr Ashishrao R. Deshmukh - the son of Congress strongman, former state party chief minister Ranjeet Deshmukh.

Without mincing words, Deshmukh has blamed Patole for all the ills plaguing the party after he took over as the state chief in February 2021, and claimed that it has gone into "anarchy".

"The recent rebellion by Dr Satyajit Tambe (in Nashik) has brought disgrace to the Congress. During Patole's tenure, the party has been facing constant upheavals. Vidarbha (from where Patole also hails) was once known as the stronghold of the Congress, but it has slipped out of the hands," he alleged.

Citing other lapses, Deshmukh said that belying Patole claims of making Congress No. 1 in the state when he was made party chief, the party has slid to the No 4 position, and now with Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena (BSS), it will be pushed down to No 5.

He recalled the examples of how Dr. Ravindra Bhoyar was the Congress candidate for the 2021 MLC polls from Nagpur, but after dramatic political developments, at the last minute, the party supported independent Mangesh Deshmukh, due to which the Bharatiya Janata Party's Chandrashekhar Bawankule won overwhelmingly.

Similarly, in June 2022 MLC polls, official Congress candidate Chandrakant Handore was defeated while another party leader Bhai Jagtap bagged more votes and won.

Another instance was the floor test of the newly-appointed government of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde-Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis in July 2022, when the opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi unity's was of importance.

Deshmukh said that instead, during the confidence vote, 10 Congress MLAs remained absent which greatly improved the government's majority.

Patole had promised to investigate all these cases and submit a report to the party high command, but till date no action has been taken nor anybody held responsible though many people continued to do anti-party work even when they were in the party, he said in the letter to Kharge.

On the upcoming MLC's polls on January 30, Dr. Deshmukh warned that its outcome could have a bearing on the election of the Chairman of the Legislative Council.

He rued that in the erstwhile bastion of Maharashtra, today, there are many leaders but no dedicated workers left, the Congress is struggling for survival, its ideology is not respected by the leaders, and the party is viewed as one without a competent state leadership.

This is the reason why people from the Congress are moving out to other parties like Shiv Sena-UBT, Nationalist Congress Party or Bharatiya Janata Party, there are no anew faces' in Congress, rampant factionalism and the party is left without a backbone, he alleged.



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Title: 'Anarchy' in Maha Congress', change party chief, demands state leader

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