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No votes, no cash

A decisive mandate from the people has ensured there will be no horse-trading of MLAs. And Independents and fringe parties are seeing their dreams of getting ministerial berths and loads of cash shattered, writes Shailesh Gaikwad.

india Updated: Oct 31, 2009 01:07 IST
Shailesh Gaikwad

Last week, more than a dozen newly-elected independent legislators were seen doing the rounds of the chief minister’s official residence, Varsha. A decisive mandate from the people has ensured there will be no horse-trading of MLAs. And Independents and fringe parties are seeing their dreams of getting ministerial berths and loads of cash shattered. Equally upset are a few builders who were ready to play a ‘crucial role’ in the formation of the new government. It’s a lose-lose situation for them.

A fistful of advice
Before the election campaign began, a top Shiv Sena leader was advised by a Jain muni to keep his fists clenched for success. If his fists were unclenched, luck would slip out of his hands, the muni warned. The leader followed the advice faithfully but, sadly for him, luck did not favour his party. And there are many clenched fists now in the party.

Divine dilemma
On the subject of sadhus and babas, Chief Minister Ashok Chavan is said to be in two minds about inviting his spiritual guru, Sathya Saibaba, to Varsha on Sunday. Chavan plans to host a lunch in honour of his guru and has invited select friends and well wishers, but is irked by the negative media publicity over the visit. But why single out Chavan? The Baba has a long list of followers: Messrs Jayant Patil, Vilasrao Deshmukh and Shivraj Patil are all his bhakts.

Rane in the running— again
He didn’t get the chief ministerial chair, but that doesn’t mean Narayan Rane gives up. Now he is hell-bent on grabbing another important post in the state cabinet that the Congress is likely to get — that of Revenue Minister.
To this effect, Rane tried to build bridges with Chavan and also lobbied with the top leaders of the party.
If you remember, after Rane was re-inducted into the cabinet early this year, Chavan had allotted him the Industries portfolio and not Revenue. This time he is unwilling to give the second-most important department in the Congress’ kitty to Rane, knowing well that Rane can turn against him any time.
But Chavan’s headaches don’t end there. He has two other seniors lobbying hard for the same post: former chief minister Shivrajirao Nilangekar and Patangrao Kadam, the Congress’ only heavyweight elected from western Maharashtra.
The No.2 post has become the No1 headache for Chavan.

n shailesh.gaikwad@hindustantimes.com