Chavan denies knowledge of moves to replace him as CM

Pune : Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan Friday denied knowledge of any moves by the Congress to replace him in the wake of the party’s drubbing in the recent Lok Sabha polls.

“I have not been called to Delhi or sounded out by anybody on this. Until a decision is taken in the matter, I will continue to do my work,” Chavan told media persons after attending a function in the city.

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He also said he was unaware of the series of meetings held between Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar and Congress leaders like A.K. Antony and Ahmed Patel in New Delhi Thursday.

Terming the meetings as “a routine exercise”, Chavan pointed out that NCP is a constituent of the United Progressive Alliance.

He, however, said that he would be prepared to shoulder any responsibility assigned by the party as it was the party high command’s prerogative to decide on the chief minister.

Meanwhile, former union minister Sushilkumar Shinde remained non-committal on his prospects of being made chief minister again.

Though declining to comment on a specific possibility, Shinde said that the party had given many responsibilities, including chief minister, and he was neither keen nor desirous of the post.

Congress-NCP circles are rife with speculation over possible changes in the chief minister and state Congress chief Manikrao Thakre after the debacle in the Lok Sabha polls.

Besides Shinde, several names are doing the rounds, including ministers Narayan Rane, Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil, Balasaheb Thorat and Patangrao Kadam.

Senior leaders from both parties admit privately that any change in leadership was not likely to make a significant difference as the state assembly elections are barely three months away.