Cong to decide Maharashtra chief ministership: Pawar

Cong to decide Maharashtra chief ministership: Pawar

New Delhi: NCP leader Sharad Pawar on Thursday said it was for the Congress to decide the chief ministership virtually dismissing his partymen’s demand for rotation of the post.

“Congress will decide...," was his response to a query whether Ashok Chavan will continue to be the CM if the Congress-NCP combine was voted to power.

NCP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal had advocated rotation of the post of chief minister in the state like in Jammu and Kashmir recently. He, however, today said it was his personal opinion.

To a query on what was the single biggest factor for the impressive show of Congress-NCP, Pawar said the leadership of Shiv Sena-BJP did not succeed in inspiring the confidence of the voters.

Noting that mature voters in Maharashtra have rejected the leadership of Uddhav Thackeray and did not take him seriously, Pawar said, they (voters) do not trust them “to deliver the goods".

“Congress-NCP has done well... We have received extremely good response in rural Maharashtra. Of course in urban areas also," the Union Agriculture Minister said.

Indicating that there would be no problem from the NCP in government formation, Pawar said, “we want a stable and result oriented government and a good relationship between the two parties."

Pawar said the farmer community "seem to be supporting" them because of Manmohan Singh government’s policy at the national level and its implementation by Congress-NCP government in the state.

“There should not be any problem to form the government," he added.

Asked if the NCP could have contested more seats, he said the performance of the party was not well in the Lok Sabha elections indicating the reasons why the NCP contested on lesser number of seats than last time.

NCP fielded its candidates at 114 seats this time against 124 in 2004, while Congress contested 174 seats, ten more than last time.

To a query whether the party would ask for the deputy chief minister’s post, he said “that is an understanding. There is nothing new in it."

Pawar said the party was encouraging new leadership and younger leaders and dismissed reports that rebel candidates are winning in the state in large numbers. “Official candidates are performing well...," he said.