Dismissing rumours that he is on his way out over party members’ dissatisfaction with his performance over the last 11 months, chief minister Prithviraj Chavan said that his government is stable.
“Whoever says that I am under any kind of threat is doing this for vested interests,” Chavan told the Hindustan Times, on the sidelines of a media conference on the weekly Cabinet meeting, on Wednesday.
Chavan, who took the reigns last November after former CM Ashok Chavan was asked to step down, in view of the Adarsh scam, he is under attack from his detractors in the Congress. Those unhappy with Chavan are accusing him of indecisiveness and apathy towards party legislators.
The CM enjoys a clean image and has cracked the whip on the builders’ lobby, to break the notorious builder-politician-bureaucrat nexus. He is reported to have told the party high command that he would not bend the rules to please his party workers.
However, seeking to cash-in on the resentment among party legislators, senior Maharashtra Congress leaders, including a union minister who is eyeing to return to the state as chief minister – have started lobbying for Chavan’s removal.
Since the CM spent 20 years in New Delhi, leaders who went Chavan’s ouster portray him as an outsider, and a leader without the required charisma to win state elections.
However, Chavan firmly maintained that there was no threat to his chair and instead blamed a section of the media for the campaign against him. “Everyone knows who they are and why they are doing this.” Refusing to identify his political rivals, he said: “They can do what they are up to. I will continue to do my job.”
Denying the rumour that Congress president Sonia Gandhi did not meet Chavan over the last weekend because she was unhappy with his performance, he said: “In fact, I could not meet her because she is unwell.
Sonia, after returning him from her treatment abroad – for an undisclosed medical condition – did not meet Chavan, though she met two former Maharashtra CMs, Vilasrao Deshmukh and Ashok Chavan.