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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Sep 2014

Chavan's 2 yrs: low on performance, high on politics

Dharmendra Jore, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, November 11, 2012
First Published: 01:31 IST(11/11/2012) | Last Updated: 11:34 IST(11/11/2012)

For many in the Democratic Front government and the Opposition, very little has changed under chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, except for the Congress gaining a temporary upper hand over its coalition partner, the Nationalist Congress Party.

Even as he completes two years in office on Sunday, Chavan continues to face flak for delaying decisions because of his penchant for probity.

Bureaucrats and ministers rue that he takes considerable time in clearing files that demand utmost urgency or involve popular public sentiment.

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The situation was entirely different when Chavan took over in November 2010. The Adarsh housing scam had sunk Congress' popularity quotient and Chavan needed to project a clean image.

But political pundits say he was also required to speed up things at the government level. They, however, say that Chavan can still make a difference because he has the full mandate of the party high command.

"Chavan's clean and transparent image is always welcome, but a leader who does not push for decisions, even legal ones that may fast-track development, does not survive for long in democracy," said political analyst Pratap Asbe, adding, "Chavan will have to change if he is to lead the party in 2014 assembly polls."

State Congress president Manikrao Thakre said the party was proud of Chavan's image and working style. "He takes the right decision at the right time."


Notwithstanding this alleged shortcoming, experts give a thumbs-up to Chavan for reigning in menacing NCP leader Ajit Pawar, who recently quit as deputy chief minister in the wake of the irrigation scam.

Pawar received the first blow from Chavan last year when the NCP-controlled apex state cooperative bank's board was dissolved.

This year, the chief minister took the fight straight into former irrigation minister's camp, demanding a white paper on the water resources department, after which he instituted high-level inquiry.

Chavan countered Ajit camp effectively but ensured good relations with NCP president Sharad Pawar, who was looking for an opportunity to reign in the ambitious nephew.


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