The Maharashtra Congress party chief has denied the suggestion that Prithviraj Chavan may be replaced as the chief minister, saying there was no such talk either in the state or in the party high command.
"We haven't received any indication from the Congress high command that the chief minister will be changed. But it there is to be such a change we will accept the high command's decision," Manikrao Thakre told dna on Thursday.
"There is no reason to make a change in the state leadership now, just ahead of the assembly elections," he said. The state assembly elections are scheduled in October.
A senior Congress leader has suggested that several Congress ministers and MLAs are unhappy with the chief minister. "They feel that the chief minister is very slow in taking decisions and has no control over the government. The MLAs fear that the party could be routed in the assembly polls, just as in the Lok Sabha elections, if he does not speed up the decision-making process," the party leader said.
Still others say that the high command should ask Chavan to get his act together rather than replace him. They say that if a new person is appointed, precious time would be lost while he takes charge.
"However, Chavan should not take shelter behind the TINA (there is no alternative) factor and continue to conduct himself as before. He should realise that the debacle in the Lok Sabha polls is as much a warning for him as for the party," a party activist observed.
Some of the prominent names that have been mentioned in the talk of a possible replacement for Chavan are former chief minister Ashok Chavan, who is also one of only two Congressmen who won in the Lok Sabha election, Sushilkumar Shinde, who lost from Solapur to a BJP candidate, Narayan Rane, state industries minister, Balasaheb Thorat and Patangrao Kadam.