Congress observers hold review meeting in Maharashtra

A team of Congress observers led by party general secretary (organisation) K C Venugopal met Maharashtra Congress leaders here Saturday, as the state unit is plagued by discontent and defections ahead of Lok Sabha polls.

Mumbai: A team of Congress observers led by party general secretary (organisation) K C Venugopal met Maharashtra Congress leaders here Saturday, as the state unit is plagued by discontent and defections ahead of Lok Sabha polls.

Venugopal was accompanied by general secretary in charge of the state Mallikarjun Kharge and Madhusudan Mistry, the party's election observer for Maharashtra.

A senior leader who attended the meeting said Venugopal asked state leaders to support state Congress chief Ashok Chavan, and warned that party president Rahul Gandhi will not tolerate any indiscipline.

A few senior state Congress leaders were asked to talk to Manikrao Gavit, who is fuming over the party's decision to give Lok Sabha ticket to KC Padvi from Nandurbar and not to Gavit's son. Manikrao Gavit was a nine-time MP from the seat.

State leaders were also asked to speak to Abdul Sattar who has raised a banner of revolt in Aurangabad.

When contacted, Ashok Chavan said it was a routine meeting to take a stock of preparations ahead of Lok Sabha elections.

There haven't been many defections from the party, Chavan said, adding that the issue of Sujay Vikhe Patil, son of leader of opposition in the Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, becoming BJP candiate from Ahmednagar was now a closed chapter.

Apart from Sujay Vikhe Patil, Satara district Congress chief Ranjit Naik has crossed over to the BJP and bagged ticket from Madha.

Last week an audio clip, where party worker was heard complaining to Chavan about candidature of Vinayak Bangade from Chandrapur, went viral. Chavan was heard saying that he was in the mood to quit as his views were not heeded.

A day later Bangade was replaced by Suresh Dhanorkar as Chandrapur candidate.