Senior Congress leader Balasaheb Thorat, an arch-rival of Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, was appointed as the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader in the Maharashtra legislature Friday. Vikhe Patil, a senior Congress leader, quit the post of CLP after his son Sujay joined the BJP and successfully contested the Lok Sabha election from Ahmednagar.
Thorat and Vikhe-Patil have a long-standing rivalry in local politics of Ahmednagar district. A statement issued by the party also said that Vijay Waddetiwar, currently deputy leader of the Congress in the Assembly, has been elevated as the group leader.
K C Padvi, Sunil Kedar, Jaikumar Gore, Yashomati Thakur and Praniti Shinde have been appointed as whips. In the Legislative Council, Sharad Ranpise will continue as the party's group leader. Ramhari Rupanwar will be the deputy leader, while Bhai Jagtap will be the whip.
The monsoon session beginning from Monday will be the last session of the present Maharashtra Assembly as elections are due later this year. With the resignation of Vikhe Patil as MLA, the Congress' strength in the lower house has come down to 41.
Kalidas Kolambkar, Nitesh Rane are rebel MLAs but technically part of the Congress group in the house. Another MLA, Abdul Sattar has been suspended from the party, but he continues to remain MLA. The party has 16 members in the Legislative Council.
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