Finally Maha Govt in Place; Chavan, Bhujwal Take Oath

Ending a fortnight long stalemate on government installation after assembly elections, the swearing-in of the new Congress-NCP ministry has taken place in Maharashtra.

Governor SC Jamir swore in congress leader Ashok Chavan as chief minister of the state while NCP leader Chhagan Bhujwal was sworn in as deputy chief minister.

According to a compromise formula reached between the two parties, the Congress will have 23 ministers and NCP 20 in this government.

While all NCP ministers were expected to take oath on Saturday, the Congress ministers would be sworn in two phases.

With government being formed, Chavan faces a sterner test of his leadership and managing skills through the choppy waters of coalition politics after just over 10 months at the helm of affairs in the state in the previous stint.

Chavan’s non-controversial image may have landed him the top job after Vilasrao Deshmukh made way in the wake of Mumbai terror attack, but his real test would lie in managing the coalition which took 15 days of hard bargaining between Congress and NCP over portfolios and the number of ministeries.

The excellent equations 51-year-old Chavan enjoys with Congress command, specially with Gen Next leader Rahul Gandhi, also helped in no small measure in warding off potential challenges from more seasoned seasoned aspirants Vilasrao Deshmukh and Narayan Rane, both former chief ministers.

The selection of Chavan also underlines the importance of political inheritance in Congress.

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