Pics: Rons Bantwal
Mumbai, Dec 5: Maharashtra Industries Minister Ashok Chavan is most likely to succeed outgoing chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, as an overwhelming majority of the Congress legislators chose him over Narayan Rane on Thursday.
The legislators, 75 from the state assembly and 35 from the legislative council, voiced their support for Chavan during their individual meetings with the party’s central observers, Pranab Mukherjee and A K Antony, at the Vidhan Bhavan here.
The official announcement of Chavan’s name is likely to be made by the party high command in Delhi on Friday. During the one-to-one interactions, only a handful of MLAs supported Rane for chief ministership. This may be due to his Shiv Sena background and a very aggressive style, which have not gone down well among the party legislators.
Ashok Chavan is the son of late S B Chavan, who had been Union home and finance minister. He also served as Maharashtra chief minister, once during the emergency and later in the 1980s.
Earlier, outgoing chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh addressed a farewell press conference at the official Sahyadri guest house which actually turned out to be a thanks-giving speech. He later drove to the Raj Bhavan to submit his resignation to Governor S C Jamir. Deshmukh said his resignation was “symbolic”. He added the decision was essentially to honour the public anger.