Cong rally sets stage for CM-MPCC chief tussle

High on the CM's agenda is the cabinet reshuffle to ensure non-performing ministers are weeded out

The Congress rally on Friday has set the stage for an ugly power tussle between Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and MPC Committee president Manikrao Thakre. At the outset the stated purpose of the rally is thanks giving to the centre and state government for allocating the Indu Mills land for the grand B R Ambedkar memorial at Dadar. The directives issued to all the district leaders in state is loud and clear: Mobilise maximise people using all means of mode and methods to showcase the rally.

However, political undercurrents indicate the rally is being organised to display the political might of Thakre who is positioning himself for the highest post of CM post 2014 or number two slot of revenue minister if there is a cabinet reshuffle next month. According to one AICC functionary, "The MPCC's initiative to organise the massive rally ahead of the all India Congress' shibir chintan mid January is significant. As it will usher in changes not only in AICC but also MPCC and state government. Keeping that in mind both Chavan and Thakre are also drawing up their own time tables."

High on the CM's agenda is the cabinet reshuffle to ensure non-performing ministers are weeded out. Also if he is expected to lead the state in 2014 assembly elections he wants good performers. Chavan has already conveyed to the AICC bosses that he cannot be expected to deliver administrative results with the current team. If 2014, elections are going to be fought on developmental plank then he needs to undertake major changes in the cabinet. If left to Chavan he would like to replace at least three ministers. With three vacant berths, he wants to exercise his authority in bringing six new faces in the cabinet. The chief minister has indicated that he should get the free hand in picking up his new team and allocation of portfolios.

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