There are no friends or foes in politics as a widely held belief goes. This was once again on display when Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, who was the target of verbal umbrage of dissident Congress leader Narayan Rane when the change of guards in Mumbai took place, today expressed that he held no grudges against Rane.
If Rane is ready to retract some objectionable statements against the party leadership there should be no problem for his continuation in the party. Congress suspended Rane this month following his criticism of the party leadership for denying him for the chief minister's post in place of Vilasrao Deshmukh.
Talking informally with journalists, Chavan said, "It would be better if Rane reconsiders his opinion about the Congress and the party leadership. He should work for the party and not against it."
The chief minister said that he had a talk with Rane during the on-going winter session at Nagpur. "I have nothing personally against him," Chavan said when a reporter pointed out that Rane called him "incompetent' when he succeeded Vilasrao as the chief minister.
On the other hand, the former chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh said Rane could not adjust with the Congress culture during his brief stint. "As long as I was at the helm I accommodated him," he said.
On the new chief minister Chavan, the former chief minister said that Ashok Chavan was the best choice the party had and he would prove his metal. He said that Chavan hails from a family where he had been brought up in the atmosphere of good governance.
"Chavan himself was a minister for a decade," he reminded.
The former chief minister said that he always considered party as supreme and was ready to take whatever responsibility the party entrusted with him. "I am a disciplined soldier and never sought anything or expected much," he said.
On the controversial Sion-Panvel road project, Deshmukh said that the cabinet sub-committee cleared the proposal and its records were available for verification.