Balasaheb Thorat was Saturday appointed president of the Congress's Maharashtra unit. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi reconstituted the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee and also appointed five working presidents -- Nitin Raut, Baswaraj M Patil, Vishwajeet Kadam, Yashomati Chandrakant Thakur and Muzaffer Hussain.
"Congress president has approved the proposal of appointment of Balasaheb Thorat as president of the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee," a communication from AICC general secretary organisation K C Venugopal said.
Thorat, 66, has been a farmers' leader and has been involved in the cooperative movement in Maharashtra.He is also a former revenue minister. Though Gandhi has resigned as Congress president, the party is yet to name his replacement and still considers him as its chief.
Thorat replaces Ashok Chavan, who had recently resigned from the post of Maharashtra Congress president. Of the state unit's working presidents, Raut is a scheduled caste leader, while Thakur is a Kunbi leader.Both are form the state's Vidarbha region.
Patil is a Lingayat leader from Marathwada, Kadam belongs to the Maratha community and Hussain is a prominent Muslim face from the state's Konkan region. Gandhi also named KC Padavi, MLA from Nandurbar, as the new Congress Legislature Party Leader in the Maharashtra assembly.
Padavi succeeds Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, who had defected to the BJP recently. He has also set up eight separate election-related committees in the party's state unit.
Thorat will also be the chairman of the strategy committee, with Chavan as co-chairman. Former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan will be the chairman of the party's state manifesto committee.
Former Union minister Sushil Kumar Shinde will be the chairman of the coordination committee, which will also have senior leaders as members.
The committees have been formed in view of the Maharashtra assembly election, slated later this year. Nana Patole, who resigned recently as chairman of the Congress's Kisan cell, will be the chairman of the party's state campaign committee.