Sonia to chair CEC for Maharashtra Assembly polls

New Delhi: Eyeing the Maharashtra Assembly polls, Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi will hold a meeting of the party’s Central Election Committee (CEC) to discuss candidates and election preparations in the state, a leader said on Saturday.

The party leader, on the condition of anonymity, told IANS: “Sonia Gandhi will chair the meeting of the CEC with the senior party leaders and state leaders.”

He pointed out that the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Chairperson will also discuss the names of the probable candidates in the state especially those who can take on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiv Sena heavyweights like Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and others.

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After being appointed as the party chief last month, Gandhi had earlier met state party leaders and listened to their grievances and the infighting among local units in Mumbai and Nagpur.

She had also discussed the issue of an alliance with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).

In the 2014 elections, the BJP came to power by winning 122 seats in the 288 member Assembly, while the party’s ally Shiv Sena won 62 seats.

The Congress and the NCP bagged 42 and 41 seats, respectively.

The Congress and the NCP were now looking for a comeback in the state.

However, both the parties have faced deserting from several senior party leaders. Actor-turned-politician Urmila Matondkar, who contested unsuccessfully from North Mumbai had quit the party last week.

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After Matondkar, former Minister and senior Congress leader Kripa Shankar Singh also quit the party.

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