Asserting that Congress-NCP coalition will return to power with an absolute majority, Maharashtra Industries Minister Narayan Rane on Sunday said that he will not stake claim for the post of Chief Minister.

“The issue of Chief Ministership will be decided by the high command. Right now, I am working to strengthen the party and ensuring the victory of Congress-NCP candidates,” Mr. Rane, who returned here after a whirlwind tour of Marathwada, said.

When asked about his campaign for Amit Deshmukh, son of his former bete noire Vilasrao Deshmukh, Mr. Rane said the party’s interests were on the top of his mind when he campaigned for Mr. Amit.

“I campaigned in Latur for Congress candidates Mr. Amit Deshmukh and Vaijath Shinde. Both Mr. Vilasrao Deshmukh and myself are leaders of the same party. Whatever I have done is in party’s interests,” Mr. Rane said.

When asked about his relations with Mr. Deshmukh senior, Mr. Rane said the ordinary people are not concerned whether they both are friends or not.

“It interests only you (media). People are concerned about the development issues,” he said.