The Congress high command has taken serious cognisance of the defeat of party leader Chandrakant Handore in the last month's Maharashtra Legislative Council elections as it involved cross-voting by seven MLAs, former state minister Naseem Khan said on Thursday.
Talking to PTI, Khan said he along with Handore met senior party leader Rahul Gandhi in Delhi on Wednesday and discussed the political situation in the state.
"The Congress leadership has taken the defeat of Handore, a senior Dalit leader from the party, seriously. He was allotted 29 first preference votes, but got only 22 and failed to get any second preference vote. Seven Congress MLAs cross voted. An inquiry should be held and precautionary steps needed to be taken to avoid such incidents in future," he said.
Meanwhile, sources in the state Congress said the leadership will be deputing an observer to take stock of the developments in the last fortnight - cross-voting in the council polls, around 10 party MLAs remaining absent during the trust vote of the newly-formed Eknath Shinde-led government on Monda and the party's stand on the renaming of Aurangabad as Sambhajinagar.
The BJP had won all five seats it contested in the state legislative council election, voting for which was held on June 20. The Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) alliance of Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress suffered a setback as Congress's Handore, a former minister, lost even as two candidates each of Sena and NCP, including former BJP leader Eknath Khadse, won. Another Congress nominee Bhai Jagtap won.
Ten Council seats were up for grabs and 11 candidates were in the fray for the elections.
(With PTI inputs)