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Deshmukh meets Sonia, says all is well
May 30, 2008 14:11 IST
Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh on Thursday scotched speculation about any threat to his position after a meeting with Congress president Sonia Gandhi [Images].
"All is well. I am satisfied," he said after the meeting, the first after the defeat of the NCP-Congress candidate in the Thane Lok Sabha bypoll.
Deshmukh said he told Sonia that the party will have to rework its strategy in Maharashtra ahead of the Lok Sabha polls in view of the delimitation of constituencies which has led to creation of new seats.
He said the Congress' state unit would analyse the changes in the constituencies due to delimitation and assess the strength of the party in every seat.
"The exercise will help us in seat-sharing discussions if we decide to contest the elections along with the NCP," Deshmukh said.
The chief minister said he thanked Sonia for expanding the ambit of the farm loan waiver scheme of the UPA government which is expected to benefit nearly 85 per cent of the farmers in the drought-hit Vidarbha region.
"I also apprised her of the decision of the state government to extend the farm loan waiver to seven districts which were left out of the Central scheme," he said, adding his government has set aside Rs 141 crore for the purpose.
Asked whether reported moves to appoint his key detractor Narayan Rane as the party's campaign chief for the next assembly elections came up for discussion, Deshmukh said "the matter did not come up for discussion with Sonia. We would abide by the decision of the high command."