Senior Cong leaders spar over appointment of district chief

    Mumbai, Aug 16 (PTI) A Congress meeting called tofinalise the name of Ratnagiri district President reportedlysaw angry exchange of words between party leaders Narayan Raneand Ashok alias Bhai Jagtap today. According to Congress sources, Jagtap opposed the nameof Nilesh, Narayan Rane’s elder son, for the post. Thisangered Narayan Rane, who entered into a verbal duel with hisparty colleague. Narayan Rane "scolded" Jagtap in the meeting held atGandhi Bhavan here in the presence of Maharashtra CongressPresident Ashok Chavan, they said. However, party leaders claimed it was not a war ofwords but differences of opinions over the names for the post. Chavan had called a meeting of Ratnagiri and NagpurDistrict Congress Committees to appoint their respectivePresidents. According to the sources, during the meeting, therewas a rift between Narayan Rane, Jagtap and Husain Dalwai, amember of Rajya Sabha, over the name of Ratnagiri districtCongress President. Four names were proposed – Mangesh Shinde,Ibrahim Dalwai, Sanjay Reddy and Nilesh. Jagtap opposed Nilesh’s name for the post, they said. "His (Jagtap) objection was Nilesh is an outsider; heis not from Ratnagiri (The Ranes hail from adjoiningSindhudurg district). He also said the party has given morethan enough to the Rane family in politics," he said. However, Jagtap denied any rift with Narayan Rane, anMLC, and said everybody has right to suggest names. "Inpolitics, everybody has right to push the name of hisfollowers (for party posts) and I did the same. It does notmean anything went wrong in the meeting," maintained Jagtap. Narayan Rane also denied any rift. "We had a discussion over names. Some leaders opposedsome names and that’s why my voice might may have been loud,"the former Chief Minister said. He said nothing went wrong in the meeting and claimedmost of the leaders had a "consensus" over Nilesh’s name. Asked whether the name for the post has beenfinalised, he said Chavan will take the final decision. Asked about the entire episode, Chavan merely saidNarayan Rane is an aggressive leader and thus has a loudvoice. Chavan said all vacant posts in the State unit of theparty would be filled soon. PTI MM RSY RGBAS

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