A day after he conveyed to the party's central leadership that he cannot work with Maharashtra Congress president Nana Patole due to his "anger" towards him, senior Congress leader Balasaheb Thorat today resigned from the post of Maharashtra Congress legislature party leader. Sources said he is firm on his stand, and is unlikely to take back his decision.
Mr Thorat sent his resignation letter on February 2, sources close to him said, adding that it's getting difficult to work with Nana Patole.
Despite being a senior leader, there were statements being made against him and his family, and some people were trying to tarnish the image of Mr Thorat and his family, sources said, adding that Mr Patole is 'arrogant'.
Nana Patole hit back, saying he never indulged in "such dirty politics".
He had earlier also denied any such letter was written, adding he would only be able to comment if he knew this letter's contents.
In his letter to Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, Balasaheb Thorat, a former state unit chief and minister, also said he is not being consulted before decisions were taken, his aide told news agency PTI.
This comes days after then Nashik graduates constituency MLC Sudhir Tambe, who is the brother-in-law of Balasaheb Thorat, declined to contest the Maharashtra Legislative Council elections despite being the Congress' official candidate. He got his son Satyajit Tambe to fight as an independent, who won the poll. Results were declared on February 2.
The Congress has suspended Sudhir Tambe and Satyajit Tambe from the party for the MLC poll twist.
Mr Thorat said the politics during the elections is going to 'disturb' him, and he has conveyed his feelings to the party high command.
"Recently the elections to the Legislative Council were held, a lot of politics took place in it. Satyajit won with a very good number of votes, we should also congratulate him. But the politics that took place is going to disturb me, this is the fact. In this matter, I have conveyed my feeling to the high command of the Congress. This is the politics within the party, it should not be discussed outside, I believe. That's why I have told the high command what has happened in this matter," he said.
Balasaheb Thorat has also said he was insulted by the (state) party leadership and statements were made against his family on the (Tambe) issue, his aide said quoting the letter.
Some functionaries from Ahmednagar were punished over this issue, the letter to Mr Kharge further said.
Nana Patole had, on January 26, disbanded the Ahmednagar district committee of the Congress for "anti-party activities" as some of its members had reportedly campaigned for Satyajit Tambe instead of the candidate to whom the party had officially extended support.
Balasaheb Thorat said rumours of him and his family being linked to the BJP were spread during the recent MLC polls.
"Recently, during the elections to the Legislative Council, some people came up with such things that we were linked with the BJP, and rumours were also spread that we would be given tickets by the BJP. We have seen how these people spread rumours. But the idea of the Congress is our idea, I believe, and therefore all of you should also remain calm," Mr Thorat said.