The meeting assumes significance in the backdrop of growing unrest within the state Congress against Chavan after the Lok Sabha election results.
According to Congress officials, Chavan discussed the challenges ahead as the state goes for elections in October. A close aide of Chavan said the meeting went off well. However, sources in the MPCC said the central leadership should convey a strong message to the dissidents by reposing total faith in Chavan’s leadership. “This will also help Chavan crack the whip against the dissidents who are creating trouble for him,” said a state leader. The official statement from the party said: “Chavan held a meeting with Gandhi to discuss poll strategy in Maharashtra. It was a very interactive session.”
Apart from intra-party challenges, Chavan also discussed the NCP’s decision to strike a hard bargain on seat sharing. Chavan’s meeting with Gandhi is seen as a first step forward to indicate that the central leadership is not likely to take any decision on change of guard in the state.
“Maharashtra cannot be singled out. Instead, the mood is to identity the shortcomings and provide strength through collective functioning, even more specific roles to those who are complaining of being sidelined can be worked out,” said an AICC functionary.
Chavan, who was facing open rebellion from a section of leaders in the party, discussed the matter with the high command. Highly placed sources said AICC was likely to convene another meeting with both Chavan and MPCC chief Manikrao Thakre next week to discuss the issues in details.