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Home > News > Report

Why did Sharad Pawar blink first?

Sheela Bhatt in New Delhi | October 28, 2004 02:16 IST
Last Updated: October 28, 2004 14:34 IST

For the second time within a month, Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar has been outwitted.

The battle of nerves between the Congress and NCP for the post of Maharashtra's chief minister ended inthe former's favour.

Why didPawar blink first?

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Onepossible reason isthe time factor.

Nearly 15days have passed since the results of the assembly election were announced and the state ismaking do with a caretaker chief minister. Not a good sign in one of the country's most industrialised states, which is also home to itsfinancial capital.

Another reason is the internal struggle in the NCP.

The gist of the negotiations between the Congress and NCP:

nPawar toyed with the idea of becomingchief minister and possibly ask his only childSupriya to fight the by-election to the Baramati Lok Sabha seat.

nButthe Congress was wary of allowing Pawar to becomechief minister fearful of itsfuture in the politically crucial state. It proposed that if Pawar was keen to becomeCM, he should merge the NCP with the Congress.

nPawar refused to merge his party, whichemerged with more seats thanthe Congress in the assembly election. The latter in turn refused to give in to Pawar's demand.

nThen the NCP tried to secure a better deal at the Centre. It took the Congress almost two days to de-link the Maharashtra talks with the power sharing agreement at the Centre.

nThen came the twin proposals: Pawarsought two posts of deputy chief minister and two more portfolios, including revenue and urban development. The revenue portfolio offers a grip on the administration and the bureaucracy while the urban development department is where the money is. Most donors to political parties are beneficiariesof the urban development department's policies.

nThe Congress won this round too, and that is the real win.

nIn the end, Pawar got two cabinet berths (labour and forest) and one more post of minister of state from the Congress quota.

nThe Congress made it clear that any further delay in choosing a chief minister would affect the feel-good image created by the alliance winning the election.

nSecondly, even if the Congress conceded Pawar's demand, the latter would have found it difficult to select any of his colleagues for the post of chief minister without sparking discontent among the others.

This is the second timePawar has been outwitted; the first being when he lost the election to the post of president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India.

But all is not over for the Congress as yet.

It has one more issue to deal with --its chief ministerial candidate.

"The issue of who will be the chief minister is not closed within the Congress," said an influential member of the Congress Working Committee.

A name willemerge on Friday, October 29, whenpartylegislatorsmeet to choose their leader.

According to reliable sources in the Congress, the high command would prefer a Maratha in view of the NCP's good showing in the assembly election. The NCP is dominated by Marathas.

Outgoing Chief Minister Sushilkumar Shinde,a Dalit, will have to launch an aggressive campaign to retain his post against the Maratha lobby. His nearest rival is his predecessor Vilasrao Deshmukh.

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Sub: One sided Article

The Article is written with some previous assumptions and lack of knowledge of maharashtra.Writter wrote that Sharad pawar want CM Post for himself or his ...

Posted by Nitin



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