Barely a month back, Ashok Chavan was backed by his predecessor Vilasrao Deshmukh to become the chief minister of Maharashtra to keep Narayan Rane at bay. But presiding over his maiden Cabinet meeting, Mr Chavan took a decision that has set him directly against his predecessor. Vilasrao Deshmukh and Ashok Chavan, both from Marathwada, are engaged in a turf war over the Cabinet decision to make Nanded the seventh revenue division in the state. Deshmukh was keen on making his hometown Latur the revenue division headquarters, but Chavan obliged his hometown Nanded. This, Congress sources say, has not gone down well with Deshmukh and his supporters in Latur who interpret the government decision as an attempt by Chavan to edge his predecessor. Though an administrative decision, the move has triggered a serious political rift between the former and the current chief minister. All through his second stint as chief minister, Vilasrao Deshmukh facilitated Latur’s elevation as revenue division to the extent that the government decision appeared a mere formality. But his untimely exit in the wake of the 26/11 terror attack and Ashok Chavan’s subsequent elevation seems to have tilted the equation in favour of Nanded, sources said. Bureau report.
March 21, 2018