Mumbai: Maharashtra Congress Legislature Party met here on Thursday and authorised party president Sonia Gandhi to nominate their leader even as former Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said he was not in the race for the post.
A one-line resolution moved by state party chief Manikrao Thakre authorising Sonia Gandhi to select the new CLP leader was adopted unanimously.
Earlier, leader of the Congress party in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, central observer for the election, met the legislators individually to ascertain their views on the new CLP leader.
"Kharge and Congress general secretary in-charge of Maharashtra Mohan Prakash will discuss the feedback from legislators with the central leadership and then make an announcement," Thakre told reporters.
The name of the new leader is expected to be announced later in the day, he said.
39 of the 42 newly elected MLAs and 22 MLCs attended the meeting. Three MLAs-- Kalidas Kolambkar, Surupsingh Naik and Arif Mohammed Naseem Khan--could not attend due to various reasons, Thakre said.
Chavan, under fire from his rivals in the party following the drubbing in Lok Sabha and Assembly polls, said he was not in the run for CLP leader's post.
"I have asked the party not to give me any responsibility," Chavan told reporters ahead of the CLP meeting.
"In the last 15 years, I have held many responsibilities in the party and now I have got back my constituency. I want to spend time meeting people and working for my constituency," Chavan said in an informal interaction with journalists ahead of the meeting.
Chavan has won from Karad South Assembly constituency, which is part of Karad Lok Sabha seat he represented in 1991, 1996 and 1998. Both his father and mother held Karad seat several times.
He also said he will not campaign for the party in poll-bound Jammu and Kashmir and Jharkhand.
Congress has secured only 42 of 288 Assembly seats, in worst-ever showing in the state since its creation in 1960.
Chavan's rivals in the state Congress had yesterday declared they would oppose any move to appoint him as CLP leader after the party's dismal showing in Lok Sabha and state Assembly polls.
"Congress fared miserably in the Lok Sabha and Maharashtra Assembly polls under Prithviraj Chavan's leadership. It would be unfair if he is made CLP leader," Abdul Sattar, an MLA from Marathwada and confidante of former Chief Minister Ashok Chavan said.