Maha Congress likely to undergo overhaul soon

Mumbai: In the wake of its drubbing in the Maharashtra civic polls, the state unit of Congress may soon see a major organisational reshuffle, party sources said.

The overhaul plan comes at a time when the Congress has faced poll debacles in Assembly elections in five states.

Although the overall performance of Congress in the recent local bodies and municipal corporation elections in the state was satisfactory, the party's central leadership is reportedly upset since the NCP has overtaken the party in terms of vote share and in the total number of seats.

The central leadership considers this a wake-up call for the party as the NCP may demand the Chief Minister's post if the Congress-NCP coalition wins the 2014 Assembly elections.

According to sources, the central leadership is toying with the idea of overhauling the state unit along with the Mumbai Congress.

The leadership is of the view that NCP had surged ahead of Congress in the local bodies elections because of organisational deficiency.

"Even though the AICC is unhappy with the Chief Minister's performance, their assessment is that Prithviraj Chavan has been able to get rid of the corrupt image of the state," sources said, adding that Chavan would continue to be the Chief Minister "as there is no credible alternative".

The organisational reshuffle is expected after the budget session, sources added.

Incumbent state unit president Manikrao Thakre, who has held the post for more than three years, may be inducted into the ministry, they said. Thakre's term in the legislative council ends in July and he is likely to be re-nominated.

Among names being considered to replace Thakre are social justice minister Shivajirao Moghe, EGS minister Nitin Raut, OBC leader Sudhakar Gangane, Rajya Sabha member Hussain Dalwai, senior leader Rohidas Patil and Lok Sabha MP Jaywant Awade.