Solapur: Known for his repartees, Union Heavy Industries Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh on Monday had a dig at his one-time protege Ashok Chavan over the latter adding
the honorific `rao`.
"It should be left to the people`s wish whether to add Rao` in the name or not," Deshmukh said, in a veiled reference to the Maharashtra Chief Minister`s office on the sixth floor of state secretariat building now having a new nameplate - that of Ashokrao Chavan.
In temple town Pandharpur in this district for offering prayers to Lord Vitthal, Deshmukh said that "no leader can get respect by forcing the people to do that (adding `rao`)".
"I have always taken my name as Vilas Deshmukh and never added or forced the people to call me Vilasrao in my entire life. It was the true love of people that they always
called me `Vilasrao` with respect," he said.
A fortnight ago, the old nameplate at Chief Minister`s official residence `Varsha` in Malabar Hill bearing Ashok Chavan`s name gave way to a shiny brass one with the name
`Ashokrao Chavan`. When reporters queried him about the change in nameplate, Chavan had brushed aside the "hype" generated in the media over the nameplate change.