Security my top priority: New Maharashtra chief minister(Lead)

December 5th, 2008 - 7:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Dec 5 (IANS) Maharashtra chief minister-designate Ashok Chavan said that the security of his state, whose capital Mumbai saw a vicious terror attack last week, would be his “top priority”. Chavan, the son of former union home minister S.B. Chavan,said “the aam aadmi (common man) is not concerned with who is chief minister or the deputy chief minister. They just want the administration to be strong.”

“It’s a challenge, and I accept this challenge,” Chavan, in his early fifties, said after his name was announced in New Delhi by senior leader Pranab Mukherjee on behalf of the Congress leadership.

He said it was important for his government “to deliver”.

He takes over from Vilasrao Deshmukh, who resigned in disgrace following the terror outrage in Mumbai.

Saying “this is not the time to celebrate”, he said “security will be the topmost priority” and he will do everything to strengthen the state police force so that carnages of the kind that occurred last week were not repeated.

“The government will take all steps necessary to ensure safety of the people.”

Chavan was one of the names that were doing the rounds since it became clear two days ago that Deshmukh would step down following charges of ineptitude against his government over the terror attacks that killed 172 people.

Chavan pipped Revenue Minister Narayan Rane, who had thrown his hat into the ring, and made his displeasure known when his claim was overlooked.

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