Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on Friday dismissed reports of a possible change in leadership of the State, saying he had no intimation of such a move. With a Cabinet reshuffle at the Centre likely and the Congress-led UPA government getting battered over Coalgate, rumour mills in the State are hinting at Mr. Chavan being recalled to New Delhi to manage a key portfolio. Adding grist to them was State Industries Minister Narayan Rane’s visit to New Delhi to meet Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
“Narayan Rane goes to Delhi, so do I,” quipped Mr. Chavan, addressing reporters here. “But that does not imply that a change is imminent.” Mr. Chavan pointed out that the Congress high command met leaders from all States from time to time and took its decisions at an appropriate time. [But] “there is no need for consultations while taking decisions on such issues [a possible leadership change].”
Mr. Chavan, however, said a Cabinet reshuffle could take place before the start of the winter session of the Legislature.
The Chief Minister said he had directed authorities at the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority to come out with a White Paper on its functioning within 30 days.
He, however, denied the claim that his directive came under pressure exerted by Nationalist Congress Party leaders following the collapse of a section of the under-construction Metro Bridge near Andheri, in which one person was killed and 16 were injured.