Expressing reservations about the appointment of Ashok Chavan and Sanjay Nirupam as the chiefs of Maharashtra and Mumbai units of Congress, respectively, former Chief Minister Narayan Rane today claimed the party high command did not consult the state leaders on the issue.
"The party leadership didn't consult Maharashtra leaders before making the announcement. It would have been in the party's interest had we been consulted....It seems Congress hasn't learned from the drubbing in Lok Sabha and Assembly polls," the senior state Congress leader said here.
Rane, who had recently written a letter to Congress leadership expressing concern over the state of affairs in Maharashtra unit, also said "the central leaders did not communicate with me after the letter."
"Before making the announcement about new appointments, the party should have thought who can handle the situation in state Congress," Rane said. He also said that former Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and outgoing state unit chief Manikrao Thakre didn't handle the elections the way they should have been handled.
"I don't oppose Nirupam because he is a north Indian. However, ahead of the Mumbai corporation polls in 2017, care should have been taken to see if such an appointment is advisable considering the situation of the party in Mumbai," Rane said.
Reacting to Rane's remarks, Nirupam said there was no need to rake up the Marath-non-Marathi issue. "I am a Bihari by birth but a Mumbaikar by `karma," he said.
"We will try to seek Rane's views," Ashok Chavan said when asked about Rane's unhappiness. "We will take everyone into confidence while discharging our duty." In a major reshuffle ahead of possible elevation of Rahul Gandhi as party president, Congress today appointed five new PCC chiefs and one regional Congress Committee President.