Congress general secretary in-charge of Maharashtra Mallikarjun Kharge on Friday said he has urged the state unit to put up a united face to take on the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party-Shiv Sena in the upcoming assembly polls.
Talking to reporters in Mumbai, Mr Kharge expressed confidence that Congress legislators will effectively counter the BJP-Sena government on various issues of public interest during the monsoon session of the state legislature beginning Monday.
Earlier in the day, the Congress announced several changes in its legislative wing.
It said senior legislator Balasaheb Thorat, an arch-rival of Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, has been appointed the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader.
Vikhe Patil, a senior Congress leader, quit the post of CLP after his son Sujay Patil joined the BJP and successfully contested the Lok Sabha election from Ahmednagar.
Vijay Waddetiwar, deputy leader of the Congress in the Assembly, has been elevated as the group leader.
"We have named Balasaheb Thorat as the CLP leader and appointed floor leaders in both houses as well as whips. We expect them to be united and work with consensus," he said.
"In our party all are efficient, but only a few will have to be chosen for various jobs. We hope they will highlight people''s issues in the legislature," Mr Kharge said.
Meanwhile, Mr Kharge chaired a review meeting, where he took stock of the political situation in Mumbai and other parts of the coastal Konkan region.
Party sources said the state unit has been directed to strengthen booth-level committees and galvanise the grassroots cadre in Konkan, where the party has a weak base.
"We have said we want to contest Sawantwadi, Kudal assembly seats in Sindhudurg district and Rajapur, Ratnagiri and Chiplun in Ratnagiri district.
"We have also told the leadership that pre-poll alliance should be formalised at the earliest with the PWP (Peasants and Workers Party) along with the NCP in Raigad and the Bahujan Vikas Agadhi (BVS) in Palghar," a senior party leader from Konkan said.
While in Mumbai, which has 36 assembly segments, the party has told the leadership it was not averse to leaving one seat in each of the six parliamentary constituencies for the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), he said.
Maharashtra, which has a 288-member assembly, is likely to go to the polls in October.
In the 2014 polls, the Congress had won 42 assembly seats, one more than the NCP. Both parties had fought the polls separately five years ago.
However, despite a pre-poll alliance, the Congress and the NCP fared poorly in the just held Lok Sabha elections in Maharashtra, winning one and four seats, respectively.
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