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‘I want to be kingmaker, not the king’

mumbai Updated: Oct 26, 2009 01:47 IST
Sayli Udas Mankikar
Sayli Udas Mankikar
Hindustan Times
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Dressed in a crisp blue cotton sari, Ameeta Chavan (51) is not your typical political bahu.

She can speak fluent English when required, give fiery political Marathi speeches in Nanded and even break into a dance on hearing her husband Ashok Chavan’s victory in the elections.

She comes from a Punjabi background, and politicians and relatives fondly call her bhabhi.

Amid the euphoria of winning elections and the announcement of Chavan becoming the Maharashtra chief minister yet again, his wife meets us only after she has made sure her daughters have gone back to their books.

“I was just checking their studies. Our teenaged twins, Sujaya and Srijaya, are in Class 12 and this is a crucial time for them. Nothing should disturb them,” says Ameeta, who has arranged for a small family get-together to welcome her husband when he’s back from Delhi.

“There is a lot of excitement. But after the Congress won so handsomely, I knew it was coming (Chavan becoming CM). He is a workaholic and dedicated to his work trying to do justice to everything… I think he deserves it,” she says.

But does this means compromising on his family time, especially after he has become the CM? “Yes certainly.” She misses those days when she dated Chavan at Bhavans College.

But she is quick to take his side. “The day he has some time off, we all go out for a nice meal and even catch a movie. Last year we took off to Europe for a vacation…we make sure we go out once a year,” she says.

Ameeta is not just a homemaker who loves to hand pick vegetables from the market herself to make her husband’s favourite non-vegetarian Punjabi meals, but also nurtures the Chavan turf- Nanded - herself.

“He has the entire state to look after, so I have taken up the responsibility of Nanded. Right from framing the budgets to the smallest problems like fixing a bad road is my headache,” she says.

So will we see her in politics soon? “I would rather be a kingmaker than be the king,” says Ameeta.

And what about their daughters following the dynasty brigade? “Definitely! I have already started grooming them in that direction. At least one of them will join politics,” she said.