Sunday, November 14, 2010

Good Luck, Mr. Chavan

It's churning time in Maharashtra again. With the Adarsh Housing Society scam claiming (former) Chief Minister Ashok Chavan's chair, the Congress has bypassed the entire gamut of Maratha leaders based in Mumbai and made Prithviraj Chavan the new CM.

Mr. Chavan can't really be called a Maharashtra politician: he's been working in Delhi since 1991, working on an amazing number of portfolios in the current UPA Government, including the big one of MoS in the PMO. He has a pretty clean image and is mostly seen as an apolitical person.

Now, he has to deal with the faction-ridden politics of Maharashtra. Amazingly, the NCP also got rid of its Dy. CM Chagan Bhujbal and replaced him with Ajit Pawar (yes, he's Sharad Pawar's nephew). So, now we have a re-jigged administration in the state. But the problem is that the Government still relies on a very divided majority in the Assembly. After all, who can forget the extraordinary election in which the single reason that the ruling combine returned to power is that the Opposition was too divided?

Mr. Chavan has made some good noises so far, calling for a more transparent Government during his swearing-in ceremony. But then, everybody says nice things on that occasion. He will face a great number of challenges and will probably need to go back to the High Command for help regularly. Still, as an optimist and a former Mumbaikar, I do wish him well.

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