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Chavan and Deshmukh at Sonia's doorstep

A Correspondent in Delhi | December 07, 2008 15:30 IST
Last Updated: December 07, 2008 21:43 IST

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Former Maharashtra chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh [Images] and Chief minister Ashok Chavan have reached Sonia Gandhi's [Images] residence with 10 independent legislators of the Maharashtra assembly. The was a huge commotion outside the Congress chief house. This demonstration comes in the wake of claims by suspended Congress legislator Narayan Rane [Images] that theDemocratic Front alliance did not enjoy a majority in the assembly. 

The Ashok Chavan-led government in Maharashtra being installed on Monday is expected to be a mix of old and new faces but the Congress may keep some vacancies in order to avoid dissidence.
Chief Minister-designate Chavan had a meeting with party chief Sonia Gandhi and held day-long consultations over the ministry formation.
Chavan is being sworn-in tomorrow evening amid indications that the party has made efforts to accommodate all groups in the ministry in order to avoid any problems for the hief minister as the Lok Sabha polls are a few months away which would be followed by state election.
The Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party is expected to renominate most of the NCP ministers in the Vilasrao Deshmukh government.
In the wake of the Mumbai terror attacks [Images], R R Patil had resigned as Deputy Chief Minister and NCP has elected Chhagan Bhujbal to succeed him.
Meanwhile, Chavan dismissed any possible threat to his government from suspended Congress leader Narayan Rane, who is claiming support of over 25 out of 75 MLAs of the party.
"There is no threat from Rane. My government will be stable," he told reporters after a meeting with Gandhi in Delhi [Images]. Asked about Rane's criticism over his credentials, Chavan said his work would speak for him.
Chavan and Bhujbal will be sworn in at a simple ceremony at Raj Bhavan in Mumbai tomorrow.


Additional Reportage: PTI

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