Prithviraj Chavan may have inducted two ministers into his cabinet, alright. But there's growing resentment within the state Congress against chief minister Prithviraj Chavan. On Monday, there was strong speculation that senior cabinet minister Narayan Rane may put in his papers.
His main grouse is that he is not being considered for chief ministership. Rane has put it on hold for the moment.
Ever since he quit the Sena and joined the Congress, Rane's dream of becoming a chief minister again has never come true. When he quit the Sena, he was assured chief ministership by then AICC general-secretary Margaret Alva. But till date, this promise has not been fulfilled.
There was widespread belief in party circles that after the decimation of the Congress in the recent Lok Sabha elections, the high command will show the door to Chavan.
"So many decisions pertaining to crucial issues like cluster development are pending. The problem is Chavan was airdropped by Delhi. He has no mass base and does not take fast decisions," a city Congress MLA said.
But the party's central leadership, though unhappy with Chavan's style of functioning, is not inclined to ease him out at this stage. One of the main reasons is that assembly elections are only four months away.
Rane is perceived to be a go-getter, and, as a former Sainik, he is familiar with the internal functioning of the saffron party. It is true that his son, Nilesh, failed to retain the Ratnagiri Lok Sabha seat. But that is attributed to local factors.
Meanwhile, state BJP president Devendra Phadnis said he has no objection to the projection of Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray as the candidate for chief ministership.