Nana Patole appointed chief of Maharashtra Congress

Sushilkumar Shinde’s daughter Pranati working president

Former Maharashtra Legislative Assembly speaker Nana Patole has been appointed as the president of Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC). He replaces Balasaheb Thorat who holds the Revenue portfolio in the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government.

Former Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde’s daughter Pranati has been appointed as the working president. Besides Pranati, the Congress leadership also appointed Shivaji Rao Moge, Basavaraj Patil, Mohamed Arif Naseem, Kunal Rohidas Patil and Chandrakanth Handore as the working president of the party’s Maharashtra unit.

The party has appointed 10 vice presidents. They are Shirish Madhukarrao Chaoudhari, Ramesh Ananda Rao Bagwe, Husain Dalwai, Mohan Joshi, Ranjit Pratap Kamble, Kailash Krishnaro Gorantyal, BI Nagarale, Sharad Aher, MM Shaik and Manik Motiram Jagtap.

“The party appreciates the contributions of outgoing PCC president, Balasaheb Thorat and outgoing working presidents and vice presidents,” party’s general secretary (organisation), KC Venugopal, said in a statement.

Earlier on Thursday, Patole had resigned from the Speaker’s post. Patole, an influential leader from the Vidarbha region, was made the Speaker after the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress joined the ranks to form an alliance government in November 2019. Patole represents Sakoli (Bhandara district) assembly seat in the Legislative Assembly.

Having a chequered political career, Patole was a Congress MLA for 3 consecutive terms – from 1999-2014 – before he left the party to join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Contesting the 2014 Lok Sabha elections on a BJP ticket, he emerged as a giantkiller by defeating Nationalist Congress Party senior leader Praful Patel, who is a close confidant of NCP President Sharad Pawar.

Popularly known as ‘Nana Bhau’, the aggressive Patole was the earliest and first to openly revolt against Prime Minister Narendra Modi after which he resigned as BJP MP from Bhandara-Gondiya in 2017. However, in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, he was trounced from the Nagpur seat by Vidarbha BJP stalwart and Union Minister Nitin Gadkari.