Mumbai: Ashok Chavan’s choice as Maharashtra Chief Minister once again drives home the clout of political inheritance in Congress.
Fifty-year-old Chavan inherited the poitical legacy of his late father and former Chief Minister S.B. Chavan, becoming the first father-son duo in the state’s history to adorn the chief ministerial chair. The senior Chavan was a loyalist of the Nehru-Gandhi family.
Chavan also hails from Marathwada, the region to which his predecessor Vilasrao Deshmukh and former Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil belong.
Ashok was the youngest contender for the post of chief minister with Union ministers Sushil Kumar Shinde and Prithviraj Chavan having crossed the age of 60. Congress leader Balasahib Vikhe Patil, another aspirant, is passed 60.
When big names like Shinde, Narayan Rane (63), and Balasaheb Vikhe Patil were doing the rounds, Ashok Chavan emerged as a frontrunner, with his one-time friend Vilasrao Deshmukh, putting his might behind him.
Ashok Chavan began his political career, riding piggyback on his father’s political clout in 1987 when he was elected to Lok Sabha from Nanded.
In 1999, he was elected as a Member of Legislative Assembly from Mudkhed constituency and inducted as a cabinet minister for Revenue and Protocol.
In 2003, he became minister for Transport, Ports, Cultural Affairs and Protocol.
In November 2004, Chavan became Minister for Industries, Mining, Cultural Affairs & Protocol.
Prior to joining the government, Chavan was was General Secretary of Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee from 1995 to 1999.