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Sonia deputes old hand Kharge to douse flames of discontent in Maharashtra

MUMBAI: After growing discontent in Congress, party president Sonia Gandhi has deputed Congress general secretary Mallikarjun Kharge to placate the disgruntled legislators and ministers in Maharashtra.
Unhappy with his portfolio, Vijay Wadettiwar, minister in the Uddhav Thackeray government, has skipped the one special session of the state assembly on Wednesday. Wadettiwar had been allocated the Other Backward Classes (OBC), Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC), Vimutka Jati (VJ), Nomadic Tribes (NT), special backward classes (SBC) welfare, Salt-pan Land Development and Earthquake rehabilitation departments.

‘Wadettiwar was Leader of Opposition in the previous government, and was expecting a bigger department. Senior Congress leaders Nasim Khan and Sunil Kedar met Wadettiwar to pacify him. Mallikarjun Kharge is also likely to meet him soon.

‘“Wadettiwar is unhappy with the party leadership as junior ministers got the major portfolios. Some weighted departments should be given to him in addition to the existing departments,” said source close to Wadettiwar.

‘Maharashtra Congress president Balasaheb Thorat said, unhappiness among the Congress leaders is bound to happen. “We are the part of Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi, out of 42 ministries, in our side 12 ministries had came. Our leaders will have to accept this reality and work,” he added.

Sangram Thopte, the Congress MLA from Pune had also expressed his displeasure for not being inducted in Thackeray cabinet.