Pune: Prominent OBC leader Chhagan Bhujbal was named as the Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra by NCP President Sharad Pawar, ending the suspense over the successor of R.R. Patil who stepped down from the post owning ‘moral responsibility’ for the Mumbai terror attacks.
However, NCP’s coalition partner Congress is still finalising who will succeed Vilasrao Deshmukh who quit as the chief minister in the wake of the strikes, with state industry minister Ashok Chavan emerging as the front runner for the top post, edging past another contender Narayan Rane.
Pawar said that the decision on whether Bhujbal will retain the home portfolio, that was handled by R.R. Patil, will be taken only after the new ministry is formed.
“Allotment of portfolios will be decided after list of ministers is prepared by the new government,” the NCP chief, who was at Manjri, about 20 kms from here to attend a function, said.
Pawar said that it is not necessary for Congress to consult with him while deciding its candidate for chief ministership as it is an ‘internal party affair’.
“Both the parties take a decision on their internal matters independently,” he added.