He has been strongly advocating that the Congress snaps ties with Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party. But at the same time, he wants a little help from the latter to fulfill his long cherished wish of becoming a cricket administrator.
Former Chief Minister and Union Heavy Industries Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh on Friday jumped into the fray for elections to the Mumbai Cricket Association’s (MCA) governing council.
He filed papers for the post of vice-president, as a member of the panel led by Pawar. The biennial polls to the MCA will be held next week.
When asked, Deshmukh said: “Yes, I am planning to contest elections.”
Deshmukh was the chief minister till the Congress leadership removed him after the 26/11 attack. The Deshmukh camp holds Pawar responsible as the latter had asked Deputy Chief Minister R.R. Patil to step down.
It put pressure on the Congress to ask Deshmukh to follow Patil.
After the Lok Sabha elections in which Congress did well while NCP suffered a setback, Deshmukh launched a campaign in the party demanding that it should dump the NCP in the Assembly elections.
The two parties are in alliance in the state since 1999.
But recently, the Congress high command asked all its leaders to stop such talks and gave ample signals that it was all for forging a pact with NCP in the Assembly polls.
The development also comes immediately after Pawar initiated the move to name the Bandra Worli Sealink after former prime minister and Congress leader Rajiv Gandhi.
Political observers are wondering whether the MCA election will mark the beginning of the process of Pawar and Deshmukh coming closer again.
The two shared cordial relations for a long time since 1999 when Deshmukh became chief minister with the NCP’s support.