Mumbai Congress set to have a new leader

Updated: Jan 09, 2020, 17:05 IST | Dharmendra Jore | Mumbai

Some in the party are lobbying for Amarjit Singh Manhas as Bhai Jagtap and Charan Singh Sapra are also in the reckoning

Eknath Gaikwad has been the interim MRCC chief since Milind Deora quit last year
Eknath Gaikwad has been the interim MRCC chief since Milind Deora quit last year

After a lull that lasted quite some time, the Mumbai Congress is set to have some real politicking over the city president's post. After the relocation of MLA Varsha Gaikwad in the Maha Vikas Aghadi cabinet, city leaders are seeking to replace veteran Eknath Gaikwad, who was made an interim chief after Milind Deora's exit.

Party workers feel the need for a new city unit chief since two people from one family (Gaikwads) are currently holding prominent positions in the government and party organisation.

Senior Congress leaders have been pushing for Dr Amarjit Singh Manhas, a loyalist of late Gurudas Kamat, to be put in the hot seat. Senior leaders, MLC Bhai Jagtap and ex-MLC Charan Singh Sapra are also in the reckoning for the president's post. The change in the state unit is also expected because Balasaheb Thorat has been made a revenue minister.

Party leaders met on Tuesday to bring senior leaders of Mumbai Regional Congress Committee (MRCC) on board to get an approval for Manhas's nomination. Ex-MLA Baldev Khosa, ex-MLC Alka Desai, ex-Seva Dal chief Chandrakant Dayma, ex-vice-chairman of Minority Commission Janet D'Souza, MRCC general secretary Upendra Doshi, MPCC general secretary Rajan Bhosale, Dharmesh Vyas, Bhavana Jain, Ketan Shah, B G Shinde, Vinay Patil, Kishan Mistry and MRCC vice-president Zakir Ahmed attended the meeting, said a leader.

A low-profile Manhas has risen through the ranks, starting his career from Mumbai University politics. He remained Kamat's shadow all along even as he worked as chairman of MHADA (Mumbai board) and MRCC office-bearer. Currently, he is vice-president of MRCC and a member of All India Congress Committee (AICC).

Not many months ago, Sanjay Nirupam led MRCC for almost four years, but was replaced ahead of Lok Sabha polls last year with Milind Deora who too quit later, sometime after which Gaikwad was asked to take over ahead of the 2019 Assembly polls.

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