CM on two-day political mission to Delhi
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CM Prithviraj Chavan is on a two-day mission to Delhi to discuss with AICC the political agenda for Maharashtra. He has a long list of issues that need urgent attention — long-pending cabinet expansion, overhaul of Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) and byelection to the state legislature council in February.
CM has begun the process of selecting the candidate for the bypoll. He has suggested the names of senior Congress leaders Rohidas Patil (north Maharashtra) and Anand Patil (Satara in Western Maharashtra).
MPCC chief Manikrao Thakre is pushing for Muzzafar Hussain and Manikrao Jagtap (ex-NCP). Hussain also enjoys the confidence of AICC functionary Digvijaya Singh. Former state minister Anees Ahmed is also a strong contender. MPCC sources said, "If the Centre and state decide to field a minority candidate from Vidarbha, Ahmed stands a better chance."
Intense lobbying has begun with leaders parking themselves in the capital. Chavan, however, has made it clear he would not tolerate an ugly confrontation.
The byelection has been necessitated following the appointment of Hussain Dalwai to Rajya Sabha. Chavan's rivals in Congress are likely to use the byelection to push their agenda in the cabinet and organisation.
During his Delhi visit he intends to meet party president Sonia Gandhi and AICC general secretary Ahmed Patel and discuss organisational changes and cabinet expansion.Indications are he wants to have his new team in place almost a year before the 2014 assembly and parliamentary elections.