Congress leader and former MLA Ashish Deshmukh has demanded the removal of MPCC president Nana Patole and written a letter to party chief Mallikarjun Kharge in this regard, saying the party's condition in Maharashtra was "alarming".
Deshmukh, a member the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC)'s Parliamentary Board, has blamed Patole for the rebellion by party's youth leader Satyajit Tambe, who has filed his nomination as an independent from the Nashik division graduates' constituency for the January 30 biennial elections to the Legislature Council.
In the letter to Kharge written on Tuesday, the former MLA said the Congress' condition in Maharashtra was "alarming" and there was a need to change the state unit president.
"The Congress is expecting progress under your (Kharge) leadership. Once upon a time the Congress was a major party in the country. Actually, the Congress is not just a political party but an idea, a movement. No other party has a tradition like Congress," said Deshmukh.
The former legislator lamented the country's oldest political party is struggling to survive now.
"A situation has arisen in the last few years where this major political party is struggling to survive today. Like other states, our Congress party has fallen behind in Maharashtra too. It is a fact that our party is not working positively in Maharashtra," he said.
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Deshmukh said under the leadership of Patole, who was appointed MPCC president in February 2021, the party's position in the state has actually weakened.
Vidarbha was known as a Congress stronghold, but the party's grip over the region in eastern Maharashtra has now weakened due to the poor working style of Patole, said the former party MLA.
Patole, a sitting MLA and former Assembly speaker, hails from Vidarbha.
In the letter, Deshmukh referred to Tambe's rebellion and stated it has brought disgrace to the Congress for which Patole is responsible.
"Since he became the state president, the Congress is going downhill in Maharashtra. He had asserted after assuming the responsibility of the state unit president in February 2021 that he will work to make the Congress the No. 1 party in Maharashtra. However, ever since he became the state president, the Congress has been suffering," he said in the missive.
Deshmukh cited various other examples and said there was an urgent need to change the MPCC president to improve the position of the Congress in Maharashtra, where the party is a constituent of the Opposition bloc Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA).
"The state president should be the one who will go around the villages of Maharashtra and raise the issues of people and solve them and strengthen the position of the Congress. I humbly request you to take this letter seriously for the bright future of the Congress," he said.
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