A day before All India Congress Committee’s Maharashtra in charge H K Patil meets party legislators to gauge their opinion for a possible revamp of the state unit, the Congress downplayed reports of internal feud over the issue.
State Congress president Balasaheb Thorat, who is allegedly at unease over Patil’s style of functioning, on Tuesday denied reports of any rift. “We are working together,” he said.
Setting in motion the process for a reshuffle in the state unit, Patil arrived in Mumbai on Tuesday evening and is scheduled to meet party’s MLAs and MLCs individually on Wednesday.
Late Tuesday, he held deliberations with Thorat and former chief ministers Ashok Chavan and Prithviraj Chavan.
Upset at not being consulted for organising these meetings, Thorat had visited senior party leaders in Delhi on Monday, where he is believed to have questioned Patil’s demeanour.
But back in Mumbai, he glossed over these differences. “He (Patil) is a nice person. His intentions are good,” Thorat said on Tuesday.
Thorat currently holds three positions – state party chief, Congress Legislative Party leader and revenue minister in the Uddhav Thackeray government. He maintained that he has already offered to step down from the party president’s post and would willingly do so if asked to.
While several names are doing the rounds as Thorat’s successor, party insiders did not rule out his continuation, given his proximity to the Gandhi family. In the event of his stepping down, Thorat said “a young leader” should take over the party’s affairs in the state.