Manikrao Thakre is the president of Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee. Thakre is currently the member of Maharashtra Legislative Council and has been a member of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly from the Indian National Congress since 1985 till 2004.
He has strengthened the Congress party after becoming the president of MPCC. According to him the emergence of AAP has not affected the functioning of Congress party. Our correspondent Parvez Khan spoke to Manikrao Thakre who said that he will definitely contest the Lok Sabha election if he receives an instruction from the high command.
Are you keen to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha election?
It is not a question about whether I am interested in contesting the election or not. I have been following the instructions issued by the high command and will continue to follow them. I will definitely contest the Lok Sabha election if I will receive an instruction from the high command. I am Congress activist who always follows the instructions of senior leaders.
Will you be inducted in the cabinet as you have done a good job in the state Congress Committee?
It is not necessary that you get inducted into the cabinet on the basis of the good work performed in the state Congress committee. I don’t work for receiving an opportunity to get selected in the cabinet. Whatever work our high command assigns us we perform those tasks. I work for the welfare of the common man.
There is a perception in the political circles that you don’t have good relation with Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan. What is the truth about this news?
All these news pertaining to my strained relation with Prithviraj Chavan is not true. We all Congress leaders work as a team. Chavan is performing a good job by taking all Congress supporters along with him.
Will AAP’s entry in the political arena have any impact on the Congress party?
Congress always functions by taking everyone together hence supporters will not quit the party. Many parties have arrived and vanished in the political arena. The party’s popularity has not dwindled after the emergence of AAP and has only increased. Even today Congress is the premier party in the state hence AAP’s entry into politics won’t make any difference to the party.
In Congress losing its foothold in the state?
Congress is considered as the number one party in state and is very popular in rural India. The party has a strong presence in Zilla Parishad, Panchayat Samiti, Gram Panchayat and Muncipal Corporations.