A high-profile Congress legislator summoned his supporters from Amravati by the Vidarbha Express on Thursday evening for his swearing-in on Friday morning. Hundreds of excited supporters from the neighboring constituency awaited a confirmatory call at the local railway station, as they were confident that their well-connected ‘madam’ would get in to the state cabinet.
There were similar scenes in other cities and towns as every other Congress MLA, who lobbied for a ministerial berth, expected a call from the chief minister’s office on Thursday night. Hopefuls in Mumbai were a bit comfortable despite palpable excitement as they could manage to gather supporters even at a very short notice to put up a show of strength. Hussain Dalwai, whose name was almost finalised, had even started taking congratulatory calls late on Thursday evening. Dalwai didn’t appear in the list on Friday morning.
Subhash Jhanak had switched off his phone, as he was confident of getting dropped.
Even some of Rahul Gandhi’s brigade members had harboured dreams of getting ministerial berths, but they were told that first-timers would not be considered. Since the kin of ex-CMs too were ruled out, the relaxed ‘sons and daughters’ ensured that their fathers got the family supporters.
Minister of State Rajendra Mulak’s fate hung in balance as the party was undecided on having the member of the Upper House. But, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan intervened to get him on the board.
Rajendra Gavit’s name got approval in the night, while Satej Patil had to wait till early Friday morning to get a confirmation.
Yavatmal’s Shivajirao Moghe continued to pray to his religious guru from Andhra Pradesh because his competition Vasant Purke also wanted a berth. Moghe won the race and now plans to visit his guru.
Ranjit Kamble had the last laugh when old connections – his aunt late Prabha Rau was state Congress president and governor of two northern states – worked in his favour.