Fed up with his ways, at least 42 Congress MLAs have openly rebelled against chief minister Prithviraj Chavan. They have sent a letter of complaint to state Congress chief Manikrao Thakre with copies to AICC in-charge Mohan Prakash and party chief Sonia Gandhi.
“We have been trying to explain to him that it will be difficult for us to get re-elected if the government continues with the present style of functioning,” one of the rebel MLAs said.
The development is worrying for the Congress, which is already facing a tough time with the NCP. A senior AICC official conceded that some legislators have a problem with the chief minister. “This is the transfers season and they get several requests from their constituencies,” he said.
Baldev Khosa, Govind Agarwal, Vijay Wadettiiwar, Sunil Kedar, Dilip Sananda, Madhu Chavan, Abdul Sattar, and Rajendra Shekhawat are among the signatories.
A senior minister said voices of dissent have been heard at legislature party meetings as well.
“The state leadership is worried about the party’s prospects in the next assembly elections,” he said.
The minister said Thakre had encouraged the legislators to send a formal letter. “As the state unit chief, he felt it was his responsibility to convey the mood of the legislators to the central leadership.”
A former chief minister, however, made it clear that the grievances of the MLAs had nothing to do with those of NCP leaders. “These are two separate issues. Mixing both up can prove disastrous,” he said.