Sonia authorised to pick new Maharashtra chief minister

November 10th, 2010 - 12:37 am ICT by IANS  

Sonia Gandhi Mumbai, Nov 9 (IANS) The Maharashtra Congress Legislature Party (CLP) late Tuesday authorised Congress president Sonia Gandhi to take a decision on the successor to outgoing Chief Minister Ashok Chavan.

The CLP meeting here, in the presence of two Congress central observers Pranab Mukherjee and A. K. Antony, passed a one-line resolution authorising the party chief to decide on the issue.

The meeting of a majority of the Congress legislators was held in the state legislature building at Nariman Point.

Mukherjee and Antony are expected to meet legislators and ministers in the outgoing ministry to gauge the mood in the party before submitting their final decision to Gandhi.

Party sources said that the party chief will give her verdict on Chavan’s successor sometime Wednesday.

In New Delhi, Congress sources told earlier told IANS that a decision was expected late Tuesday night or Wednesday but would not stretch beyond this.

The Congress high command asked Chavan to resign Tuesday morning before the start of the winter session of parliament, where the opposition was planning to press for his resignation over the Adarsh society housing scam in Mumbai.

Flats in the Adarsh Housing Society were given away to politicians, bureaucrats and military officers though they were meant for the families of soldiers killed in the 1999 Kargil war with Pakistan.

Chavan submitted his resignation to Governor K. Sankaranarayanan in Mumbai Tuesday morning. The governor accepted his resignation and asked him to continue till his successor was appointed.

Among the names doing the rounds for the next chief minister are Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) Prithviraj Chavan, Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Mukul Wasnik, Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and prominent state leaders like Balasaheb Thorat, Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil and Narayan Rane, Congress sources said.

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