With state Congress committee (MPCC) chief Manikrao Thakre trying to seek a position of power in the government, the tension between chief minister Prithviraj Chavan and him has intensified.
The problem began when, on Thakre’s behest, a group of 42 legislators approached the party high command in March-April stating that Chavan was doing little for them and the party. Thakre has constantly criticised the CM on various Cabinet decisions, some of which were rolled back.
Last month, Thakre had expressed his displeasure over the CM’s decision of transferring police commissioner Arun Patnaik after the Azad Maidan violence. Also, he did not seek the CM’s approval before asking all district units to participate in immersing the ashes of late leader Vilasrao Deshmukh. Upset, Chavan did not attend any of those events held in Mumbai.
While Chavan has criticised MNS president Raj Thackeray’s tirade against the Bihari migrants, Thakre has chosen to stay away from it. Instead, on Wednesday, Thakre played safe by suggesting that the CM should sack school education minister Rajendra Darda, who has been named in the coal allotment scam.
The tussle between the two is similar to the fights between the former CMs and state presidents — especially between late Vilasrao Deshmukh and successive party presidents such as Prataprao Bhosale, Govindrao Adik and Prabha Rau.
Like is predecessor, Chavan is dealing with Thakre without losing his cool.
While posing as a candidate for the CM’s post, Thakre has told his associates that he would not settle for anything but a plum revenue department in case he fails in replacing Chavan.