Congress may reduce Maratha domination in Chavan’s team
The Congress is likely to reduce the dominance of Maratha leaders in the state cabinet once chief minister Prithviraj Chavan rejigs his council of ministers before year-end. Dharmendra Jore reports.mumbai Updated: Nov 05, 2012 01:44 IST
The Congress is likely to reduce the dominance of Maratha leaders in the state cabinet once chief minister Prithviraj Chavan rejigs his council of ministers before year-end.
The party high command wants Chavan to drop some Maratha ministers so that legislators from other communities can be accommodated before the 2014 assembly polls.
“Currently, Maratha leaders constitute 50% of the Congress’ total quota. It could be brought down to 30-35%,” said a leader, requesting anonymity.
The Congress has a quota of 23 ministers in a 43-member coalition government with Nationalist Congress party (NCP). Currently, there are three Congress vacancies, and with some ministers dropped, Chavan would have more empty spots to fill.
Among Maratha leaders, dairy development minister Madhukar Chavan is most likely to go because of poor performance, while one of the influential seniors — Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil (agriculture) and Balasaheb Thorat (revenue) — could be asked to head the state Congress.
Detractors want junior minister Rajendra Mulak out as he was inducted despite being a member of the upper house.
With its diminishing clout among community voters, the party may also have more Muslim ministers.
Baba Siddique from Mumbai is lobbying hard to replace Naseem Khan. Ex-minister Abdul Sattar from Aurangabad is a strong contender for another slot because former chief minister Ashok Chavan wants Congress to have a Muslim minister in Marathwada.
In case of tribals, Anand Gedam from Gadchiroli could replace Shivajirao Moghe. Dalit ministers Nitin Raut and Varsha Gaikwad are also under the scanner. The party may also drop school education minister Rajendra Darda.