Maharashtra Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil, who had played a pivotal role in quelling the Maratha quota agitation last year, was appointed as the president of the BJP state unit today. A release issued by the ruling party also named Mangal Prabhat Lodha as the Mumbai BJP chief.
While Chandrakant Patil takes over from Raosaheb Danve, who was appointed as a Union Minister in the Narendra Modi government, Mangal Prabhat Lodha replaces Vandre West legislator Ashish Shelar. Mangal Prabhat Lodha represents South Mumbai's Malabar Hill constituency in the state assembly.
"BJP national president Amit Shah has appointed Shri Chandrakant Dada Patil as the chief of the Maharashtra BJP unit. He has also appointed Mangal Prabhat Lodha as the chief of the party's Mumbai unit. These appointments will come into effect with immediate effect," the note issued by BJP general secretary Arun Singh read.
These appointments come at a time when the Maharashtra Congress is also undergoing a shake-up in the wake of its disastrous performance in the Lok Sabha elections. Milind Deora had resigned from the post of Mumbai Congress president on July 7, joining a series of leaders who quit after taking responsibility for the election results. "I had accepted the position of Mumbai Congress president in order to unite the party. I felt I should also resign after meeting Rahul Gandhi," the former Union Minister had said, hinting that he now expects to play a "stabilising role" for the Congress at the national level.
Rahul Gandhi had formally quit as the Congress national president on July 3 in a four-page letter, and asked the party's working committee to choose a successor. However, his resignation is yet to be accepted by the party leadership.
The leadership changes in the party's state unit, however, were far from over. Congress leader Balasaheb Thorat was appointed as its Maharashtra chief a week later, replacing party veteran Ashok Chavan who resigned after taking moral responsibility for the election defeat. Ashok Chavan reportedly wants to concentrate on Nanded, which he lost to the BJP's Prataprao Patil Chikhalikar.
The Congress won just one out of the 48 seats in Maharashtra. The BJP and Shiv Sena combine, on the other hand, bagged 41 seats in all.
(With inputs from ANI)