Maha Congress Lead­ers, NCP Seek Cha­van’s Head

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics - CL MANOJ

The drub­bing from the BJP-Shiv Sena com­bine in the Lok Sabha elec­tion has em­bold­ened Ma­ha­rash­tra Chief Min­is­ter Prithvi­raj Cha­van’s de­trac­tors to ap­proach the Congress high com­mand, say­ing that his im­me­di­ate re­moval is a must to im­prove the party’s prospects in the Oc­to­ber as­sem­bly polls.

In­flu­en­tial sec­tions of the Ma­ha­rash­tra Congress and ally Na­tion­al­ist Congress Party (NCP) have con­veyed to the All In­dia Congress Com­mit­tee (AICC) that it must “re­place the apo­lit­i­cal and to­tally dis­con­nected” Cha­van with a pre­sentable and sea­soned politi­cian ca­pa­ble to leading the coali­tion in what will be a tough as­sem­bly elec­tion, a party source said. Sev­eral lead­ers also want state party chief Manikrao Thack­eray too to be axed.

On Mon­day, for­mer chief min­is­ter and newly elected Lok Sabha mem­ber Ashok Cha­van – the man whom Prithivi­raj Cha­van re­placed as chief min­is­ter in 2010 in the wake of the Adarsh hous­ing com­plex scam – held a one-on-one meet­ing with party pres­i­dent So­nia Gandhi at her 10 Jan­path res­i­dence. While Ashok Cha­van wasn’t avail­able for com­ment, a source with knowl­edge of the dis­cus­sion said the for­mer CM has given the party chief his view about the rea­sons for the worst-ever Congress show in Mahrash­tra in a Lok Sabha poll, and the re­me­dial steps to be taken to try and save a ter­mi­nal blow in the as­sem­bly elec­tion. NCP sources in Delhi said its party lead­er­ship has al­ready con­veyed to the AICC that it should “im­me­di­ately do an hon­est re­view of the lead­er­ship ef­fec­tive­ness of Cha­van” and take steps to sal­vage the sit­u­a­tion in the re­main­ing months be­fore the as­sem­bly polls. Soon af­ter As­sam Chief Min­is­ter Tarun Go­goi of­fered to re­sign, Cha­van too made a sim­i­lar of­fer, which many in the party dis­miss as a to­ken ges­ture to save his face.

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