ashok-chavan-2Its’ Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan’s birthday and its extra special because it was just a few days prior to his birthday that the Congress offered him a rare gift – the powerful post of chief minister for a second time. Ashok Chavan’s choice as Maharashtra Chief Minister once again drives home the clout of political inheritance in Congress. Chief Minister Ashok Chavan inherits the political legacy of his late father and former Chief Minister S.B. Chavan, becoming the first father-son duo in the state’s history to adorn the Chief Ministerial chair. The senior Chavan was a loyalist of the Nehru-Gandhi family. Ashok Chavan is also the fifth among the state’s 14 chief ministers in the past 50 years who have held the august position twice. Prior to him, Vilasrao Deshmukh, Sharad Pawar, Vasantraodada Patil and S.B. Chavan that is Ashok Chavan’s father had held the position on more than one occasion. For a politician with barely 20 years in the field, Ashok Chavan has come a long way. He has a reputation of being accommodating, even towards foes – a trait that has seen him weather the toughest storms. Starting his political career in his father’s footsteps, Ashok Chavan was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1987 when he was barely 30 – when Chavan Sr. was ruling the state in his second tenure. In 1992, he was elected member of the Maharashtra Legislative Council and later handled several portfolios as a junior minister. He grew in the party ranks and was state Congress general secretary from 1995-1999. In 2003, Ashok Chavan became a cabinet minister and among the key portfolios he handled were ports, transport, industries and cultural affairs. He continued holding different portfolios even when the Congress won for a second term in the 2004 elections. Though post the Mumbai terror attack, Ashok Chavan had barely enough time to prove himself or come out of the menacing shadows of stalwarts in the party and government, the two elections – April-May Lok Sabha and the just concluded state assembly polls – provided a golden opportunity to prove his mettle. And he grabbed the chances to ensure handsome victories for the party in the Lok Sabha polls and the Oct 13 assembly elections – a tall order for any chief minister just 10 months in the office ! NMTV News wishes Chief Minister Ashok Chavan a very happy birthday and wishes him another successful tenure as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra !

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