Bhujbal of the NCP has floated the idea of a rotating Chief Ministership, but the Congress is clear on the issue

With Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader, Chagan Bhujbal, floating the idea of rotating the post of Chief Minister, senior Congress leader, Vilasrao Deshmukh, on Thursday said there was no doubt about his party getting the Chief Ministership in Maharashtra.

“Whatever the question raised, I think the issue has been clarified by NCP chief Sharad Pawar that the Chief Minister will be from Congress,” Mr. Deshmukh said.

He was responding to a question on Mr. Bhujbal’s idea of rotating the post of Chief Minister in Maharashtra between Congress and ally NCP.

“I don’t see any controversy on the issue in the wake of the clarification given by the NCP high command,” he said.

Asked if he would like to return to the State as Chief Minister, Mr. Deshmukh said: “I am happy at the Centre. The party high command will decide on this issue and I will be happy with that decision.”

Takes credit for verdict

Seeking to take credit for the poll verdict, he said, “whatever decisions I took during the four-and-a-half year period during my Chief Ministership, it was carried forward by Ashok Chavan and my stand was vindicated by the people of Maharashtra.”

Mr. Deshmukh was removed after the 26/11 terror strikes in Mumbai last year.

Asked to judge Ashok Chavan’s tenure as Chief Minister, Mr. Deshmukh said, “he got only six months’ time and two polls in between. So, it is too early to judge Ashok Chavan’s tenure but he, nevertheless, did a good job.”

On whether he still advocated severing of electoral ties with the NCP, he said, “it is OK as the decision has been taken. But if we had gone alone, things certainly would have been different.”

“If you look at the number of rebels who are getting elected, that number would have been reduced as they would have had fought on party’s official tickets,” he added.

Asked if the MNS helped in ensuring the Congress-NCP alliance victory in the State, he said, “I don’t think so. It’s not only the Shiv Sena, whose numbers have gone down. NCP and Congress have also been affected.”

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