The re-appointment of Mr Manikrao Thakre as the Maharashtra Congress chief is a clear message that the party high command does not want to encourage a tussle between the chief minister and the PCC chief in the state.
Normally, the AICC prefers two power centres at the state level to ensure that a PCC chief and a CLP leader should engage in the fight.
It had appointed Prabha Rau as the PCC chief twice to check Vasantdada Patil and later Vilasrao Deshmukh when they were the chief ministers.
In Maharashtra, a strong PCC chief is always seen as a potential chief ministerial candidate. Vasantdada Patil was the PCC chief for many years when V.P. Naik was the chief minister.
After him, Mr Govindrao Adik was considered one of best organisers the organisation had.
Union minister Sushilkumar Shinde too was the PCC chief twice before he became the chief minister. He was asked to revolt against the then chief minister Sharad Pawar by the high command.
Another PCC chief Ranjeet Deshmukh was a strong claimant to the chief ministership on the ground that the
Congress won more seats in Vidarbha in the state Assembly elections held in 1999.
Mr Thakre was the choice of Mr Vilasrao Deshmukh who wanted someone who could work with him comfortably after Prabha Rau was made governor.
But when Mr Deshmukh lost the chief ministership against the backdrop of the 26/11 terror strike, Mr Thakre swiftly moved his camp and joined the then CM Ashok Chavan.
After the Adarsha housing scam in Mumbai, he moved closer to the current chief minister Prathviraj Chavan.
The high command deliberately maintained a status quo with a message that it wants to give Mr Prithviraj Chavan a free hand in the coming local body elections in the state.
The announcement of Mr Manikrao Thakre’s re-appointment was made by AICC general secretary Janardan Dwivedi. Asian Age