New Delhi: Congress high command is looking
for a senior leader to head the party in Maharashtra to meet
the growing challenge from its political rivals in the key
The names of former Chief Minister Shivajirao Patil
Nilangekar, senior minister Narayan Rane, former union
minister Balasaheb Vikhe Patil, Lok Sabha member Jayawant
Awale and former minister Hussein Dalwai are doing the rounds
in party circles.
Incumbent Manikrao Thakre, who has been recently embroiled
in a controversy, is also seeking a second term. He is known
as a supporter of Chief Minister Ashok Chavan.
Thakre was last week caught on camera making references to
the funds that were collected for the Congress president?s
rally at Sevagramon.
A view in party circles is that the Maharashtra unit needs
a senior leader as its chief given the challenges from the
opposition Shivsena-BJP combine and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena
as also Congress ally NCP which is seeking to widen its
Union Minister for Heavy Industries Vilasrao Deshmukh, who
was instrumental in getting Thakre appointed as state chief
during his tenure as CM, has already come out openly against
his getting a second term.
Party chief Sonia Gandhi has initiated the process of
looking for a new president of the state unit last week by
holding discussions with senior leaders.
After her re-election for the fourth term as party
president, Gandhi has been authorised by all state units to
nominate their presidents.