New Maharashtra Congress Team Announced
The constitution of new Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) executive committee, announced today, came as a mixed bag for Union Science and Technology Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh.

Deshmukh's close aide, Latur MP Jaywantrao Awle, was dropped as the MPCC working president, while another associate, MLC Jaiprakash Chhajed, was dropped as General Secretary.

However, Sudhakar Gangane has been retained as MPCC vice president; and Basavraj Patil Nagralkar has been retained as General secretary. Both are close to Deshmukh.

MPs Hussain Dalwai, Bhaskarrao Patil Khatgaonkar (brother-in-law of former Chief Minister Ashok Chavan), former MLC Madhu Jain, Industries Minister Narayan Rane's aide, MLC, Rajan Teli, and EGS minister Nitin Raut have been dropped as Vice Presidents.

Long-time MP from Nandurbar, Manikrao Gavit; and Mushtaq Antulay, nephew and son-in-law of former Chief Minister A R Antulay have been made Vice Presidents. Mushtaq was earlier general secretary.

The number of vice presidents has been brought down from 15 to 8.

The new general secretaries include former minister Ramesh Bagwe, Haribhau Rathod, MLA Basavraj Patil, former MLA from Nashik Shobha Bachchav and Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg MP Nilesh Rane (Narayan Rane's son).

The number of general secretaries has been brought down from 36 to 34.

Prominent among those who were dropped as general secretaries are North Mumbai MP Sanjay Nirupam and senior party office-bearer Nitin Deshpande, Pradeep Rathi, Gurunath Taware, Sanjay Lakhe Patil, Rani Agarwal, Gulabrao Ghorpade, Prakash Mugadiya and Jaiprakash Chhajed. (More)

Party sources described the new committee as balanced, with all big leaders accommodated, and those loyal to the organisation getting the opportunity.

Party general secretary Sanjay Dutt continues in the post for the sixth consecutive time.

Vice President Hindurao Nimbalkar and General Secretary Mahadev Shelar are considered to be close to Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan; Vice president Sharad Ranpise and General Secretary Ganesh Patil are close to Manikrao Thakre, General Secretary Prakash Yelgulkar is close to Union Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde.

Though only one woman figures in the list of office bearers, there are 16 women in the executive committee, sources said.

Forest Minister Patangrao Kadam continues to be the party treasurer.

In addition to Anant Gadgil and Ulhas Pawar (another key associate of Deshmukh); Bhai Jagtap, Janardan Chandurkar, Ratnakar Mahajan, Subodh Mohite, Nirmala Samant-Prabhavalkar, and Sachin Sawant have been appointed as spokespersons.
Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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