The tussle for the top post in Maharashtra is on not only between Congress leaders but also between the Congress and its ally, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).
DP Tripathi, NCP spokesperson, had said the party that gets more seats should also get the chief minister’s post. Though the Congress was a couple of seats behind the NCP in the 2004 polls, it managed to keep the CM’s post. The Congress is unlikely to give up its claim to the post if the combine is voted to power.
The contenders in the Congress include incumbent Ashok Chavan, his predecessors Vilasrao Deshmukh, Sushilkumar Shinde and Narayan Rane. Rane has always been open about his desire to occupy the chair. He recently said he would not stake claim to the CM’s post but much would depend on the number of supporters each of these leaders manage to get elected.