Chavan bagged the MPCC president’s post due to his close proximity with the Congress high command.
The Congress carried out a major reshuffle after its dismal performance in the Lok Sabha and assembly election by appointing former chief minister Ashok Chavan as the new Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee president whereas Sanjay Nirupam will head the Mumbai unit. Questions are being raised about Chavan’s appointment as he has been named an accused in the Adarsh scam. Chavan’s name was considered for the top post as he is known as the blue eyed boy of Congress President Sonia Gandhi. He is one of the two Congress MPs to represent Maharashtra.
Chavan thanked Sonia Gandhi for offering him an opportunity to head the state unit of the Congress party.
Chavan said, “I will take everyone along with me and strengthen the outfit. We have a huge responsibility of reviving the Congress party after its defeat in election.”
Chavan replaced Manikrao Thakre, who headed the party for seven years. Nirupam took over from Dalit leader Janardhan Chandurkar, who headed the Mumbai Regional Congress Committee for two years. The move came nearly 10 months after the Congress was routed in the Lok Sabha elections in 2014 and four months after it suffered heavy losses in the October 2014 assembly polls.
There are several other leaders who were contenders for the coveted post. Former Chief Minister of Maharashtra Sushil Kumar Shinde is considered as a mass leader. He was the Home Minister in the UPA government and held the Chief Minister’s post of Maharashtra.
There are many other north Indian leaders who deserve to become Mumbai Regional Congress Committee chief instead of Nirupam. Arif Naseem Khan who is known as the Muslim face of the Congress party could have been an ideal candidate for this job.
Asit Jhaveri a Borivali resident said, “Sanjay Nirupam had staged a dharna in front of the Reliance Energy office demanding a reduction in electricity tariff. However, he has vanished after losing the Lok Sabha election.”
“I think he is hand in glove with the Reliance officials. We will be pasting a poster mentioning about his absence from the north Mumbai constituency” he added.
Chavan, 56, was elected as the chief minister in December 2008 in the wake of 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks which claimed the scalp of his predecessor late Vilasrao Deshmukh.
However, he was forced to quit in November 2010 after his name figured in the Adarsh Society scam.
With unseasonal rains causing damage to crops in several districts of Maharashtra, the Congress demanded a comprehensive package for the affected farmers.