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REVENUE MINISTER NARAYAN RANE MOST LIKELY TO TAKE OVER AS CHIEF MINISTER OF MAHARASHTRA

Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh may finally be running out of luck. Sources say that Narayan Rane might just be given charge of the state. Congress President Sonia Gandhi has appointed a three-member committee to assess the party’s position in the state under CM Vilasrao Deshmukh’s leadership and to screen potential successors. Subject to this committee’s recommendations, Sonia Gandhi will take the final call. Speculations ran wild after Chief Minister VRD was summoned by the Congress president on Sunday. Disappointments from Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh began for Congress in Delhi when north Indians were attacked in the city and the Chief Minister failed to tackle the situation. The other issue pertained to Uddhav Thackeray’s Sena rallies in grief stricken Vidarbha while the CM was busy with his son’s glamorous marriage. The final blow came with the humiliating defeat of Sudhakar Gangane in the recent MLC elections. In his report, senior party leader Vayalar Ravi has stated that the defeat was more the result of lack of management of extra votes – particularly by Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh. They believe he preferred to play solo, than take other state leaders into confidence. The reports hint at the CM VRD loosing his hold on the state Congress. Highly placed sources in the party say that the high commands believe that Narayan Rane will be a fitting reply to the growing power of Sena and MNS in the state. He is said to have the majority of the Deshmukh opponents which form the majority of state Congress. And since Narayan Rane was an ex-Shiv Sena man, he knows the in and out of Sena strategies and tactics which he can use to his best abilities. So looks like, after all, the promise that the Congress made to Rane when he defected might now be fulfilled as Narayan Rane will be made the CM. A NMTV Bureau Report.

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