Balasaheb Thorat’s offer of resignation as the Maharashtra Congress chief has divided the state unit of the party on the same lines of ‘young versus old’ that has split the central leadership for a long time.
While some leaders in the state want a young face to steer the Congress forward, others argue that the current structure should be given a chance to prove itself in an election before any changes are made.
Amid the growing speculation on the party’s decision, Congress’ Maharashtra in charge HK Patil will hold a high-level meeting with a select group of leaders tonight at 9am, when the fate of Thorat is likely to be decided.
A source aware of the developments told News18 that Patil “will meet Thorat, Prithviraj Chavan and Ashok Chavan at 8 pm at Sahyadri," adding that as of now, there are no instructions of a change in leadership in the state.
Speaking to News19, Thorat said he had offered to resign over two months ago. "I am already holding two positions. I had offered to resign. But this isn't a fresh offer. The speculations around my Delhi visit yesterday (Monday), are baseless. I had not gone there to offer my resignation, but for some other work," he said.
Thorat is also the revenue minister in the Maha Vikas Aghadi government, and offered to quit the organisational post as per the ‘one man one post’ principle of the party.
He had taken over the post from Ashok Chavan in July 2019 after the Congress’s poor performance in the elections. Under his leadership, the Congress improved its performance and also formed the state government under the banner of the Maha Vikas Aghadi led by Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray.
But sources indicated there were soft murmurs about Thorat's alleged inability to help Congress MLAs with funds and other works.
"But those are not so strong as of now. Though there are many young faces who are quite keen on taking up the position, there is a line of thought within the party that each chief should be given time to prove his mettle," a senior leader from Maharashtra said.
Another Congress leader said that currently, there was no decision on change in leadership at the state level. "That is why HK Patil is going to be in Mumbai. He will take the opinion of all the party leaders on this issue. These opinions will then be communicated to the central leadership," another Congress leader said.