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Maharashtra: Rane flays Deshmukh
December 21, 2007 23:05 IST
Dissidence in the Congress in Maharashtra flared up in the open with senior minister Narayan Rane on Friday targeting Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh saying he was "not happy" with the government's functioning, escalating the political battle over leadership change.
"I am not happy with the functioning of the state government," Rane said while also cautioning the party high command that Congress will suffer reverses in the next elections if the Deshmukh government continued to function in the "same fashion".
In Mumbai, a nonplussed Deshmukh rejected the former chief minister's charges and said his Congress-led government was working smoothly and all decisions are taken collectively.
"There is no question of government not working properly. People of the state have stood by me in the election to local bodies since my government was formed," he said.
Rane, a Shiv Sainik, who joined Congress only two years ago, did not name Deshmukh but made it obvious that he was his target. He had headed the Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party eight years ago.
Addressing a press conference in Delhi after meeting Margaret Alva, All India Congress Committee general secretary in-charge of Maharashtra, Rane said the government was not working for the 10 crore people of the state but only for "one person".
"If things continue the same way they are now, the results in the next elections will not be good for the Congress," he said, adding the state was facing fresh problems everyday and no solution was in sight.
In Delhi, Congress maintained silence but said it believed in the principle that members should not air their grievances in the media.