Senior Congress corporator Praful Gudadhe Patil during a press conference held recently lashed out at the newly elected Leader of Opposition (LOP) in Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) – Sanjay Mahakalkar – who was elected as LOP over Gudadhe. He said, “By appointing Mahakalkar, Congress have given BJP a walkover! I don’t want to question anybody’s capability but common people are witness to what he has done in the NMC house in the last ten years. They also know about my performance in the last 15 years.”
Gudadhe also claimed that even though most corporators were in his favour and others left the decision to the party, MPCC (Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee) chose Mahakalkar over him. Gudadhe said, “Not a single corporator opposed my name but under the influence of certain local leaders, MPCC denied me the post.”
Against the backdrop of the congress’ humiliating defeat in the recently concluded NMC elections, when Gudadhe was asked whether senior Congress leaders like Vilas Muttemwar and Vikas Thakre should retire, Gudadhe said that these leaders should retire from active politics taking responsibility of the party’s poor performance in the civic polls. Gudadhe further added, “Congress party is facing a serious leadership crisis and there are no credible faces at the local level. Congress is still very popular but voters have rejected the party due to internal fights within the party. Earlier as well, Congress could not play the role of opposition party properly and stop BJP to misuse its powers in the civic body.” Gudadhe also advised the local leaders to learn from young Congress corporator Bunty Shelke who won from a ward where union transport minister Nitin Gadkari is a voter.
Meanwhile, the city Congress unit backed Mahakalkar when he assumed charge as LOP and demanded action against Gudadhe for targeting seniors leaders like Vikas Thakre and Vilas Muttemwar. The Nagpur City Congress Committee (NCCC) has lodged a complaint with the MPCC regarding the same.