WHO WOULD BE NEXT CM?
takes a close look at the probable list of
candidates for the CM’s post in Maharashtra
WITH LESS than four months
to go before the next assembly elections, political speculations are
rife as to who will be the next chief minister of Maharashtra.
While it's quite obvious the
chief minister will be from the party that has most legislators some
of the contenders for the post include the present chief minister
Vilasrao Deshmukh, Patangrao Kadam, both of whom claim to be true-blue
blooded Marathas with a strong support in Western Maharashtra, the
largest region in the state. Marathas are the largest and one of the
most dominant castes in Maharashtra.
As far as the Congress is
concerned there is no dearth of choices as there are quite a few
leaders in Delhi like Shivraj Patil, Prithviraj Chavan and Mukul
Wasnik who could at any time be shifted back to the state.
Vilasrao Deshmukh who has
had two stints as chief minister, has been living on the edge for a
long time. He may have survived so far but one thing that he himself
has realized is that his worst enemy is his own party.
While Narayan Rane may have
been the only one who has dared to openly raise the banner of revolt
against him, informed sources say that Deshmukh faces varying degree
of threat from others like former Home Minister S B Chavan’s son Ashok
Chavan, state minister Patangrao Kadam and Union Minister of State in
the PMO, Prithviraj Chavan -- all Marathas.
The power struggle for the
Maratha crown is complicated further by Sharad Pawar, arguably the
tallest Maratha leader who wants his daughter Supriya to be his
successor in politics.
Other top CM contenders
include Uddhav Thackeray, Raj Thackeray, Manohar Joshi, Narayan Rane
and NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s nephew, Ajit Pawar. Union Power Minister
Sushilkumar Shinde - a onetime sub-inspector who quit his job to join
politics has also been CM of the state. Narayan Rane has been within
striking distance of the post several times but never made it. Uddhav
Thackeray, Raj Thackeray and Ajit Pawar despite their growing
popularity do not seem to be serious CM aspirants, at least for now.
Well that leaves us with
Manohar Joshi, himself a former Chief Minister who has ruled the state
for more than four years. He is one of the strongest contenders today.
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