A day after veteran Congress leader and former Union minister N K P Salve quit the party and formed a new outfit over the demand for a separate Vidarbha state, the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee on Monday tried to placate him saying the issue would be taken with the party high command immediately.
"We met Salve on Monday at his residence and persuaded him not to take the extreme step," MPCC chief Ranjit Deshmukh and state Labour Minister Satish Chaturvedi told reporters in Nagpur.
"During our discussions with him, we decided to take up the issue with the party high command. First, we will meet Chief Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and All India Congress
Committee general secretary Vayalar Ravi, in-charge of party affairs in Maharashtra," Deshmukh said. "We have two or three alternatives before us and these would be taken up for discussion before the party's central leadership," he said adding Salve has given them time till August 30 to convey to him the party's high command's views on the issue.
Deshmukh has apprised Shinde and Ravi about the latest political development within the party. Monday's meeting with Salve was conducted on Ravi's instructions, party sources said.
Meanwhile, Salve told PTI in Nagpur, "I am not optimistic about the outcome of their meeting with the party's central leadership. They wanted me to put my decision on hold till November after the assembly elections in four states gets over."
"Why should I wait? The party workers gave a mandate on Sunday and authorised both me and my party colleague, former Union minister for information and broadcasting Vasant Sathe, to float a new party," he stated. Salve has 35 years of experience in Parliament.