New Delhi: The Congress Legislative Party (CLP) of Maharashtra has left the decision to choose the Chief Minister of the state after resignation of Ashok Chavan to party president Sonia Gandhi.
Pranab Mukherjee and AK Antony, who have been appointed as Central
Observers for the Maharashtra CLP held its meeting at 10:00 p.m to elect a new leader. The suggestion came from Chavan himself.
Before leaving for Delhi, Pranab didn’t give any clear indications about who would be the next CM candidate. ”I and AK Antony will go to Mumbai for further discussions. Till then there is nothing to tell”, he had said.
He was speaking to reporters after he and Antony Sonia Gandhi before leaving for Mumbai.
Sonia held deliberations with AICC
Incharge of Maharashtra Antony, senior party leader Pranab, Home Minister P Chidambaram, Law Minister Veerappa
Moily, Parliamentary Affairs Minister P K Bansal, Ministers of
State for Parliamentary Affairs V Narayanaswamy and Prithviraj
Chavan besides political secretary to Gandhi, Ahmad Patel.
Ahead of the meeting, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that the government was willing to discuss all issues with the opposition parties and hoped that the Winter Session
of Parliament will be peaceful and productive.
The meeting was held in the wake of Opposition parties raising the scams in Adarsh Housing Society, Commonwealth Games and 2G spectrum on the first day of the winter session.
A meeting of NCP Legislature Party in Maharashtra has also been convened in Mumbai tomorrow.
NCP leaders Praful Patel, D P Tripathi and Tariq Anwar would be attending the meeting as central observers amid talk in political circles that senior Maharashtra Minister Ajit Pawar could press for being elected the leader of the legislature party.
Ajit is the nephew of Sharad Pawar and has been representing the pocketborough of Baramati in Pune district, held earlier by his uncle.
At present, Chagan Bhujbal is the NCP legislature party leader, a post which has also made him the Deputy Chief Minister.
Cong likely to pick a Maratha CM
Congress is likely to choose a Maratha leader to succeed Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok
Chavan who resigned today.
The names of Union Minister Prithviraj Chavan and
Maharashtra Minister Balasaheb Thorat are doing the rounds as
possible successors to Ashok Chavan ahead of the meeting in
Mumbai of Congress Legislature Party to elect a new leader.
Both the leaders are from dominant Maratha community.
Both the leaders are from Western Maharashtra, the
stronghold of NCP supremo Sharad Pawar. While Prithviraj
Chavan is from Karad in Satara district, Thorat hails from the
sugar-rich Ahmednagar district.
While senior Maharashtra ministers like Narayan Rane,
Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil and Harshavardhan Patil are also
being seen as possible contenders, a section of the party says
they are newcomers to Congress and therefore should wait for
some more time.
Rane was former Chief Minister in Shiv Sena-BJP
government in which Vikhe Patil was a Sena Minister as was
Harshavardhan Patil, then an independent MLA. All the three
leaders are also from Maratha community like the outgoing
Union Minister Sushilkumar Shinde is a former Chief
Minister and a Dalit and was the only non-Maratha Chief
Minister of Congress in recent years.
Another Union Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, whom Ashok
Chavan had replaced as the Chief Minister two years back, had
been at the helm of affairs in the state for eight years. Both
these leaders hail from Marathwada region.