After the resignation of Congress Leader Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil as leader of Opposition in Maharashtra Legislative Assembly and his subsequent resignation from the party, Congress party, on Friday, has appointed Balasaheb Thorat as the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader of Maharashtra assembly.
In a letter addressed to Congress General Secretary (Maharashtra) Mallikarjuna Kharge, the All India Congress Committee General Secretary K.C. Venugopal has approved the list of members appointed to the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly and Council, after mega-exodus of Maharashtra Congress MLAs due to the Lok Sabha defeat in the state.
Earlier on Tuesday, Patil, who had quit Congress, had met with Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis furthering speculations of his possibility of joining the saffron party and gaining a cabinet seat soon.
Previously on June 4, Patil, had officially resigned as Congress MLA from Maharashtra's Shirdi constituency. He has submitted his resignation to Speaker of the Vidhan Sabha. Along with him, other Congress leaders namely Abdul Sattar, Kalidas Kolambkar and Jaykumar Gore have also resigned from their posts as MLAs, according to sources.
These newly-exited leaders are in contact with Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis's close aid & Minister Girish Dattatray Mahajan who had claimed that Patil will join BJP on June 1. Patil met Mahajan at his residence on Tuesday, May 28.
Following the embarrassing defeat of the Congress party in the state of Maharashtra, Congress leader Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil said that he had clarified to the party at the time of resigning from the position of Leader of Opposition that he will not campaign for the party. He also said that after his son Sujay Vikhe Patil joined the BJP, he had started thinking about the prospect of joining the party. He added that now many of the workers from the BJP have also urged Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil to join the party.
The entire Vikhe Patil- Pawar family tussle started when Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil wanted a ticket for his son Sujoy from the Ahmednagar seat and was denied. Subsequently, Sujay joined BJP and won the seat against NCP's Sangram Arunkaka Jagtap.
In the Lok Sabha 2019 polls, the BJP and Shiv Sena alliance in the state won 23 and 18 seats respectively bringing their tally to 41 in the state's 48 seats. While NCP won 4 seats, Congress was reduced to 1 seat won by Suresh alias Balu Dhanorkar from Chandrapur, where Union minister Hansraj Ahir lost.