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Speculation rife over Rane as next Maharashtra CM

September 14, 2012 16:46 IST

Maharashtra Industries Minister Narayan Rane on Friday triggered speculation about a change of guard in the state following his meeting with Congress President Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi.

Government sources informed that Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan will most probably step down from his post on Sunday, and Rane is likely to take over. A Congress source said Rane will be sworn-in before Ganesh Chaturthi, which falls on September 19.

When asked about his interaction with the Congress president, Rane merely quipped that it was "a fruitful meeting".

Sorces say that Chavan could find himself in the Rajya Sabha, filling up the seat left vacant by the late Science and Technology Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh. If elected, he would have a three-year term till August 2015, the residual term left on Deshmukh's RS seat.  

There is also the likelihood of Chavan being accommodated in the Union cabinet when it is reshuffled.

Sources say Chavan, a confidant of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, could be considered for the petroleum ministry.

A Correspondent in New Delhi