Maharashtra Parties Extend Red Carpet for Prithviraj Chavan




Mumbai, Nov 10 (IANS) Political parties across the spectrum Wednesday welcomed the Congress decision to appoint union minister Prithviraj Chavan as the next Maharashtra chief minister and said his clean, non-controversial image would help bring stability to the state.

The challenges were daunting for Chavan, who was named for the chief minister's chair a day after Ashok Chavan resigned over allegations of corruption in the Adarsh housing society scam, said political leaders.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Madhav Bhandari said Chavan was the new face of the state, and being chief minister would be an acid test.

"Chavan has never participated in state politics. His entire political career has been in New Delhi. But we do expect him to maintain stability in the state. Other Congress politicians have always brought a bad name to Maharastra. We expect Chavan's clean image to bring stability," he said.

Samajwadi Party state president Abu Azmi agreed and said that unlike other heads of state governments, Chavan's clean image would help develop Maharashtra's backward regions.

"We will extend our full support to Prithviraj Chavan. We only expect there will be no corruption in the commissioning of funds to develop the backward regions of Maharashtra," Azmi said.

Shiv Sena MP Bharatkumar Raut expressed his concern about Maharashtra passing through a bad phase and said it would be Chavan's responsibility to tackle various issues at the same time.

"The state is facing challenges in all areas. Workers are pressurised, farmers are unhappy, prices have touched the sky and there are sharks in the bureaucracy. The new chief minister will have to tackle all these. We expect him to be capable of this owing to his clean, non-corrupt image," Raut said.

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) vice president Vagesh Saraswat also said they would lend full support to the new man in the hot seat.

"He is well educated and hence we expect him to lead Maharasntra to prosperity. We would be happy if he does not indulge into corruption like other Congress leaders. We think he will understand the state soon as he is well aware of its cultural and political background," Saraswat said.

The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), which is part of the ruling coalition along with the Congress, said Chavan had a big responsibility to shoulder as he had always been in national politics.

"I still believe that he will be able to handle Maharashtra better than other ministers. He is well informed and learned. We expect him to undertake activities for the state's development, activities that will make Maharashtrians happy," Kamble said.


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