Differences in Maharashtra Congress have forced the party to defer the May 27-28 Mumbai visit of vice-president Rahul Gandhi,though the official reason is preoccupation of state leaders with the June 2 Yavatmal bypoll.
The decision to defer the visit was taken at a meeting between CM Prithviraj Chavan and Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) Manikrao Thakre.
MPCC spokesperson Sachin Sawant said,The dates (of the visit) were tentative. The party decided to defer Gandhis visit to June. The CM,Thakre and other senior party office-bearers will be busy with by-election in Yavatmal.
Sources,however,blamed it on poor coordination between the MPCC and the CM.
Gandhi was to interact with the party organisation ahead of the 2014 general election and there was fear that disgruntled elements may use the opportunity to vent ire at the CM. Congress MLAs and MPs have a long list of complaints against the state administration. The last time Gandhi held a meeting with Mumbai Congress leaders,some dissidents had tried to corner the CM. A senior Mumbai Regional Congress Committee official said,There has been no movement on the three major issues appointment of party workers on state boards/commissions,redevelopment of Dharavi and filling cabinet berths raised at the last meeting.
Gandhi had during his last visit asked Chavan and Thakre to work together to address these issues.
A senior cabinet minister said,The drought situation in the state has already created unrest among rural Maharashtra MLAs. Senior party functionaries felt Gandhi would unnecessarily invite their wrath.
It was felt questions would also be raised as to why Gandhi was not touring drought-hit districts. To prevent such a situation,the visit was deferred by Thakre and the CM.