All India Congress Committee (AICC) secretary and party in-charge for Maharashtra HK Patil, who is on a three-day tour of Mumbai, held meetings with key party leaders from state on Thursday. The leaders discussed various issues such as Maratha and Other Backward Classes (OBC) reservation, election to the post of Assembly speaker, forthcoming local body elections among others.
Patil is holding meetings with the party’s Mumbai unit on Friday to discuss upcoming Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections and the infighting within the unit. He met state unit chief Nana Patole, party’s legislative party chief Balasaheb Thorat and all ministers from the state cabinet at Sahyadri guest house on Thursday.
According to Congress leaders, Patil took stock of the political situation and discussed the party’s stand on various issues. “He met all Congress ministers in Maharashtra under the leadership of Thorat and Patole. Right from Maratha and OBC reservation, the leaders discussed election of the speaker of the state Assembly, forthcoming local body elections among others. Patil insisted that party ministers press for the implementation of the common minimum programme which is the base of the formation of the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi,” a Congress minister said.
Patil also reiterated that the Maharashtra unit should press for separate farm laws in Maharashtra to negate the farm laws passed by the Central government, said another leader. The party leadership has also told the state unit and the minister to push for development schemes meant for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. Party chief Sonia Gandhi had written a letter to chief minister Uddhav Thackeray a few months ago, asking him to give priority to the welfare of tribal communities.
The party in-charge for the state also took review of the compliance of the tasks set before party and its frontal organisations.
In his meeting with party’s Mumbai unit leaders on Friday, besides discussion on preparations for the ensuing BMC elections, the infighting within the unit is also expected to surface. “AICC had set tasks before Mumbai unit soon after Ashok Jagtap was appointed as its president in December. He will take review of their compliance and the discuss issues and appointments in frontal organisations. The issue of MLA Zeeshan Siddique’s complaint against Jagtap is also expected to be discussed,” said a Mumbai unit leader.
Meanwhile, former minister of state and a key Vidarbha leader Sunil Deshmukh will re-join the Congress on Saturday. Deshmukh had quit the Congress in 2014 after he was denied ticket to choose former president Pratibha Patil’s son Raosaheb Shekhawat from Amaravati. Deshmukh lost 2019 election to Congress’s Sulabha Khodke.