Ajit Pawar to be new Maharashtra deputy chief minister (Lead)

November 10th, 2010 - 7:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Nov 10 (IANS) Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Ajit Pawar, nephew of party chief Sharad Pawar and a state minister, was Wednesday named Maharashtra’s next deputy chief minister after Chhagan Bhujbal.

The NCP decision to appoint Pawar came hours after the Congress announced Prithviraj Chavan as the new chief minister of Maharashtra. The state is ruled by a Congress-NCP coalition.

“A meeting of the NCP legislators has unanimously elected (Ajit) Pawar as the new deputy CM,” senior party leader Praful Patel announced Wednesday evening.

Intense lobbying by Bhujbal failed to work and Pawar managed to secure the support of over around 50 NCP legislators plus a few independents, party sources said.

Bhujbal bowed before the party’s wishes and proposed the name of Pawar as the new deputy chief minister; it was seconded by Home Minister R.R. Patil.

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