Chavan completes one year in office
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Last Updated: Friday, November 11, 2011, 17:36
  
Mumbai: Having been pushed into the hurly burly of Maharashtra politics quite unexpectedly, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan faces the most important challenge of his tenure in the ensuing local bodies elections, as he completes one year in office on Friday.

Chavan, who spent most of his political life in the corridors of power in Delhi, was catapulted to the highest political office in his home state from the relative obscurity of the backroom of the Prime Minister's office after his predecessor Ashok Chavan had to step down in the wake of the Adarsh Housing Society controversy.

Managing a fractious coalition partner in Sharad Pawar's NCP, Chavan has weathered a string of farmers' agitations and accusations of indecisiveness but pushed forward his pro- development and pro-reform agenda in one of the most enduring strongholds of the Congress.

As many as 196 municipal councils, 27 Zilla Parishads, 305 panchayat samitis and 10 municipal corporations including the Shiv Sena-controlled Mumbai civic body will go to polls between December and March 2012.

The fact that the last three months have seen the Chavan government grapple with massive agrarian agitations -- by onion, cotton and now sugarcane cultivators -- have not made his task of putting up an impressive show at the hustings any easier. Rising food inflation and repeated petrol price hikes have made it even more daunting.

All through the year, Chavan has been accused by his ally NCP and opposition Shiv Sena-BJP of avoiding taking quick decisions, resulting in prolonged delays in clearing development projects.

PTI


First Published: Friday, November 11, 2011, 17:36


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