News Brief

Maharashtra: Turmoil Within Congress Escalates With Thorat's Resignation, Ashok Chavan Calls Him 'Man Of Patience'

Swarajya Staff

Feb 08, 2023, 02:35 PM | Updated 02:34 PM IST

Balasaheb Thorat.
Balasaheb Thorat.

The turmoil within the Congress party in Maharashtra continues to escalate as senior leader Balasaheb Thorat stepped down from his role as the head of the state legislative party on Tuesday (7 February).

This comes after a letter he sent to the Congress president, Mallikarjun Kharge, regarding tension with the state unit chief, Nana Patole, was made public. Sources say that Thorat has sent his resignation to the party high command.

Patole claims to not be aware of the resignation and says Thorat has not been communicating with the party for a few days. However, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has stated that their doors are open for Thorat to join if he wishes to switch sides.

The Congress leader is the maternal uncle of Satyajit Tambe, who recently won the Legislative Council election as an independent candidate. An aide of Thorat had earlier stated that he had written to the Congress central leadership due to his inability to work with Patole, who he says has shown anger towards him, and because he was not being consulted before decisions were made.

Former chief minister and party colleague, Ashok Chavan, expressed regret over reports of Thorat resigning from his position as the Maharashtra Congress legislature party chief. Speaking to reporters while attending a wedding in Jalna, Chavan stated that Thorat is a senior leader and known for his patience.

The BJP state president, Chandrashekhar Bawankule, says that the party is open to leaders like Thorat, but he will not join due to someone's suggestions or instructions. Bawankule also said that anyone who joins the BJP will be respected and honoured. He added that there is unrest among the Congress' "B and C level" workers.

Thorat has been a staunch Congress loyalist and has held many key ministerial portfolios and served as the state party president.

The discord among the state Congress leaders became evident after Thorat's brother-in-law, Sudhir Tambe, declined to contest the Legislative Council election, and his son, Satyajit Tambe, fought as an independent and won the election.

Thorat's silence during this episode, while he was recovering from a shoulder injury, was seen as silent support to the Tambe father-son duo.

(With inputs from PTI)

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