Nana Patole appointed Maharashtra Congress chief, replaces Thorat

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New Delhi/Mumbai, Feb 5 (PTI) The Congress on Friday appointed Nana Patole as the party's Maharashtra state committee president, replacing Balasaheb Thorat.

Patole, 57, a four-time MLA currently representing Sakoli seat in Bhandara district of the state, had resigned as Speaker of Maharashtra Assembly on Thursday.

A former BJP MP from the Bhandara-Gondiya constituency in Maharashtra, he switched over to the Congress in January 2018.

Patole said his aim is to restore the numero uno position of the Congress party in the state.

'I will live up to the faith and trust in me shown by my leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, and make Congress the number one party in the state again,' he told PTI.

According to a party statement, 'The Congress president has appointed Nana Patole as the new president of Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee.' Congress chief Sonia Gandhi also appointed six working presidents -- Shivaji Rao Moge, Basavaraj Patil, Mohamed Arif Naseem Khan, Kunal Rohidas Patil, Chandrakanth Handore and Pranati Shushilkumar Shinde -- to work in coordination with Patole.

Ten vice presidents of the state unit, including former Rajya Sabha member Hussain Dalwai, were also appointed.

The party also set up a Parliamentary Board in the state with 37 members, a Strategy, Screening and Coordination Committee for the upcoming local bodies elections.

The Congress shares power with the Shiv Sena and the Nationalist Congress Party in Maharashtra.

NCP leaders Anil Deshmukh, Supriya Sule and Sunil Tatkare congratulated Patole on his appointment to the new party post.

Patole, was originally in the Congress but had quit it briefly to join the BJP. He had defeated NCP leader Praful Patel in 2014 Lok Sabha elections. He had lost the 2019 Lok Sabha election from Nagpur against union minister Nitin Gadkari, but later contested the assembly election and won from Sakoli.

He entered politics as a Zila Parishad member in 1990 and became an MLA in 1999. He has also been the chairman of the All India Kisan Congress. PTI SKC MR SMN