Dismissing suggestions that he is not in the best of terms with Nationalist Congress Party, Maharashtra Chief Minister-designate Prithviraj Chavan on Wednesday said he would take everyone along to provide a good government to the state.
"We have been running a coalition in Maharastra with the NCP since 1999. It is not correct to say (I don't have good relations with NCP)," Chavan told reporters at his Race Course Road residence in New Delhi soon after Congress chief Sonia Gandhi chose him as the new leader of the Maharashtra Congress Legislature Party.
He disagreed with a questioner who asked whether it would be difficult for him to be in state politics since he has been in national politics for a very long time.
"I am confident that I will be able to deliver with the help and cooperation of all," Chavan said. Replying to a question, Chavan, who resigned as the Minister of State in the PMO, said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has blessed him.
"I have received maximum love and affection from the Prime Minister. I will ever be grateful to him and there is no word to express my gratitude."
64-year-old Chavan said, "Being a Minister of state in the PMO for the last six years, I have seen from close quarters how a coalition is run."
"At this important juncture I seek the cooperation and support of all and will do my best to provide leadership to the pre-eminent state," he said.
Chavan said he had already spoken to NCP chief Sharad Pawar and planned to meet him on Wednesday before leaving for Mumbai this evening.
Thanking Gandhi for choosing him for the "major responsibility", he said, "I will try to do my best to take Maharastra to greater heights."
Asked about how he is going to approach his new responsibility, Chavan said he will hold consultations with senior leaders including outgoing Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, Vilasrao Deshmukh, Narayan Rane and Patangrao Kadam.
"I am highly honoured and humbled by the onerous responsibility," he said.
Chavan downplayed questions on factionalism in the Maharashtra Congress unit. "There has been a tradition of Congress party. Congressmen have always stood above petty interests and they have always risen to the occasion in the interest of the party and the state. I am sure the same thing will happen in Maharashtra," Chavan told mediapersons outside Parliament.
He was answering to queries on how tough would it be for to tackle factionalism in the state Congress. Asked when is he going to Mumbai to take oath, Chavan said, he was trying to meet everybody and things would be decided after talking to everyone.