Maharashtra Chief Minister-designate, Prithviraj Chavan on Wednesday met coalition partner Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar and sought his party's cooperation in running the State government smoothly.
Mr. Pawar, who is also the Union Agriculture and Food Minister, has welcomed the Congress Party’s selection of Prithviraj Chavan as the new Chief Minister of Maharashtra and said it was a “good’’ choice.
Amidst speculation that the NCP, that shares power with the Congress in Maharashtra, might opt for replacing Deputy Chief Minister Chagan Bhujbal with Ajit Pawar, another Maratha leader, Mr Sharad Pawar said that Mr. Chavan’s appointment was a ``balanced one’’.
Assuring of his party’s ``full cooperation’’, Mr Pawar said he was sure that the new incumbent will ``revive’’ the State.
``It is a good selection and balanced one. His reputation is good,’’ said Mr. Pawar adding that ``there will be full cooperation from the NCP to the new Chief Minister.’’
Mr. Chavan, who is likely to be sworn-in as the Chief Minister on Thursday dismissed suggestions that he was not in the best of terms with NCP.
Earlier, NCP, general secretary and national spokesman, D.P. Tripathi who left for Mumbai along with party leaders Prafulla Patel and Tariq Anwar, told The Hindu that ``there might be changes’’ in the party’s portfolios in the State cabinet.
Reacting to suggestions from the Congress camp that the NCP refrain from appointing another Maratha leader (Mr. Chavan is a Maratha) as Deputy Chief Minister, Mr Tripathi retorted, ``We did not advise the Congress what to do. They need not tell us what we should do. We will decide.’’