Antulay vs Joshi: My CM was better than yours

Published on Apr 25, 2004 02:59 AM IST

It's A.R. Antulay (Cong) versus Manohar Joshi (Shiv Sena), the two former chief ministers of Maharashtra.

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PTI | ByPiyush Srivastava, Mumbai

It's A.R. Antulay (Cong) versus Manohar Joshi (Shiv Sena), the two former chief ministers of Maharashtra. At first this sounds absurd as the two are contesting from different seats — Kulaba in Raigad district and Mumbai North-Central respectively. But those who attend their rallies and campaigns hear it loud and clear.

"Joshi was chief minister of Maharashtra, then a Union minister and later the Speaker of the Lok Sabha. But what has he done for the state? He never got time to meet his people and even wanted to run away from Mumbai and settle in Delhi," say speakers at Antulay's meeting in Raigad.

And then they recount "Antulay's success".

"Antulay saheb was CM for 18 months and three days only. But he changed the scene of the state. His developmental works speak volume. And despite holding many important positions in the party, he always stayed in Raigad with his people. Unlike Joshi, he is always available for the people of Raigad in particular and Maharashtra in general," his supporters say.

Something quite different is been said 100 km away, at Joshi's meeting in Dharavi, Mumbai.

Shiv Sena leaders turn to Antulay time and again, "Antulay was CM of the state but never bothered to think of you people. He never thought of anything other than Kulaba. The PM has approved a Rs 5,000-crore scheme for Dharavai at the behest of Joshi saheb only."

Lost in the din over who had performed better as chief minister is the latest battle on hand. Antulay's actual fight is with Ramseth Thakur of the Peasants Workers Party and Joshi is pitted against Eknath Gaikwad of the Congress.

Interestingly, Joshi, among the Sena's top leaders, is not in Bal Thackeray's good books — and Antulay, despite the Congress tag, is said to be a favourite of the Sena tiger.

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