The veteran Congress leader has reportedly questioned the appointment of three people who are supposed to help him strengthen the party in Maharashtra.
New Delhi: The first voice of discontent at appointments made by Congress president Rahul Gandhi has been raised.
Senior party leader Mallikarjun Kharge, who was made the Congress general secretary in charge of Maharashtra in June, is said to be deeply annoyed with three leaders the party president has picked to work under him.
Between June and August, Gandhi appointed five leaders to work with Kharge in Maharashtra — Ashish Dua, who was with the AICC communication department in Delhi, former Gujarat Mahila Congress president Sonal Patel, Telangana MLAs Sampath Kumar and Challa Vamshi Chand Reddy and B.M. Sandeep, a Karnataka native like Kharge who has worked with the Rajiv Gandhi Panchayati Raj Sangathan and the Indian Youth Congress.
Kharge’s resentment spilled out at a meeting of state Congress chiefs and general secretaries in-charge held by treasurer Ahmed Patel on 6 September.
The meeting was aimed at planning booth-level party outreach and fund collection drives.
As Patel urged leaders to work at the grassroots level, Kharge lashed out, saying the task was a tall order given that three of his secretaries — Sampath, Vamshi and Sandeep — did not work.
“You have given me a large state like Maharashtra but three people under me are not working,” the leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha is believed to have said. “How can I deliver results or implement the party’s strategy on the ground?”
Sampath and Vamshi, sources said, were more concerned about the political affairs in their state than party work in Maharashtra, and spent a lot of time in Telangana.
Telangana, which was scheduled to vote around April-May 2019, is now headed for snap polls after chief minister K. Chandrashekar Rao dissolved the assembly Thursday.
Sandeep, meanwhile, is still a novice.
Kharge is also believed to be irked by the fact that despite being from the same state, he was not consulted on Sandeep’s appointment as a secretary under him.
Sources said the matter will be taken to Gandhi once he comes back from the Kailash Mansarovar yatra on 12 September.