Congress leader Eknath Gaikwad was appointed the acting president of the Mumbai Regional Congress Committee on Friday, nearly two months after Milind Deora tendered his resignation from the post, PTI reported. Gaikwad was elevated from the post of working president after the party accepted Deora’s resignation.

“I am happy that my pending resignation as President, Mumbai Congress has been accepted,” Deora tweeted. “I am grateful to [the] Congress for having been given the opportunity to serve Mumbai. I wish Eknath Gaikwadji my very best.”

The party, in a statement, confirmed that the Congress president had approved the proposal for Gaikwad’s appointment as the acting president in Deora’s place. “The party appreciates the contribution of the outgoing president of MRCC [Mumbai Regional Congress Committee], Milind Deora.” The announcement came ahead of the Maharashtra Assembly elections in the state.

Deora, who replaced Sanjay Nirupam as the Mumbai Congress president in March, had announced his resignation on July 7, weeks after the party suffered a massive loss in the General Elections. When he resigned, the Congress leader had said that taking on the Bharatiya Janata Party-Shiv Sena alliance and negating the impact of the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi were the challenges before the party in the state.

Gaikwad is a three-time MLA from Dharavi in Mumbai and served as the general secretary of the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee between 1990 and 1991. He was also appointed the general secretary of the Mumbai Regional Congress Committee between 1997 and 2003. He served two terms as a Lok Sabha MP.

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