New Delhi: Domination of sugar-rich western
Maharashtra is set to grow in the state with the Chief
Minister-designate Prithviraj Chavan and Deputy Chief
Minister-designate Ajit Pawar hailing from the same region.
Added to this is the fact that both the leaders belong to
the Maratha community which has for long influenced the
politics of the state. Outgoing Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan
Bhujbal is an OBC hailing from the Mali (gardener) community.
Leaders of the Congress-NCP coalition agree in private
that the move does not exactly give a good signal and
therefore there was need to maintain regional and social
balance through other means.
While Chavan is going to Mumbai for the first time to do
politics at the state level as he had been a Congress MP and
office bearer since 1991, Pawar is considered to be firmly
rooted in state politics.
Pawar had been a member of the Lok Sabha for sometime from
his uncle Sharad Pawar`s pocket-borough Baramati but later had
been an MLA all through. He has held several portfolios and is
known to wield considerable influence both the party and the
While leaders from western Maharashtra have been generally
in the co-operative field, Chavan`s leadership is, however,
different as he is a technocrat who has generally stayed away
from such ventures as also groups in the state Congress and is
known as a loyalist of the party high command.
Chavan will be 18th Chief Minister since formation of
Maharashtra in 1960. Pawar will be the eighth Deputy Chief
Minister of the state.
Chavan will be the third Chief Minister from Satara
district after late Y B Chavan, the first Chief Minister of
Maharashtra. Incidentally Chavan also hails from Karad, which
was the native place of the late leader.
The other Chief Minister from the district was the late
Babasaheb Bhosale, who was the surprise choice of the late
Indira Gandhi after she forced AR Antulay to resign in the
wake of a cement scam. Babasaheb Bhosale was an MLA from a
Mumbai Assembly constituency.
Other Chief Ministers from the region were Sharad Pawar,
Sushilkumar Shinde and the late Vasantdada Patil.
Patil and Pawar, who have been associated with the
powerful cooperative movement in the region, served for four
times, while Shinde had been Chief Minister for almost two
The outgoing Chief Minister Ashok Chavan is from the
Marathwada region while Maharashtra PCC President Manikrao
Thakre is from Vidarbha. It is unclear whether Thakre would