Consensus eludes Cong on Cabinet reshuffle

A lack of consensus in the faction-ridden Congress has made it difficult for CM Prithviraj Chavan to reshuffle cabinet to remove non-performing ministers.

Ally NCP is ready with its list of ministers and pressure is mounting on Chavan to hasten the exercise.

Sources in CMO said, "CM does not have a free hand to make changes he desires. There are many lobbies at work. Chavan wants to induct at least four new faces and drop a couple of failed ministers, but there is opposition from within the party. AICC has not approved his list, delaying the process."

An AICC functionary said, "The central leadership of Congress was busy with the chintan shivir in Jaipur. Now, it will focus on organisational changes in AICC, which will be followed by state-level changes."

Admitting problems, a Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) general secretary said, "Chavan wants AICC to first decide changes in MPCC, as he would like to consult the MPCC president on cabinet changes."

Political managers in MPCC said intense lobbying was on to counter the names suggested by Chavan and MPCC president Manikrao Thakre.

An MPCC member said, "Chavan had said the women's commission chairperson would be decided in three days.

"However, even after 15 days the party has failed to arrive at a consensus."

The biggest hurdle in the reshuffle is the decision to drop Thakre.

The MPCC chief has completed seven years in the post, but AICC is still weighing the pros and cons of shifting him to cabinet.

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