With Nationalist Congress Party leader Chagan Bhujbal floating the idea of rotating the post of chief minister, senior Congress leader Vilasrao Deshmukh said on Thursday there was no doubt about his party getting the Chief Ministership in Maharashtra.
"Whatever the question raised, I think the issue has been clarified by NCP chief Sharad Pawar that the chief minister will be from Congress," Deshmukh said. He was responding to a question on Bhujbal's idea of rotating the post of CM in Maharashtra between Congress and ally NCP. "I don't see any controversy on the issue in the wake of the clarification given by the NCP high command," he said.
Asked if he would like to come back to the state as the chief minister, Deshmukh said, "I am happy at the Centre. The party high command will decide on this issue and I will be happy with that decision."
Seeking to take credit for the poll verdict, he said, "Whatever decisions I took during the four-and-a-half year period during my chief ministership, it was carried forward by Ashok Chavan and my stand was vindicated by the people of Maharashtra".
Deshmukh was removed after the 26/11 terror strikes in Mumbai last year. Asked to judge Ashok Chavan's tenure as the state chief minister, Deshmukh said, "He got only six months time and two polls in between. So, it is too early to judge Ashok Chavan's tenure but he nevertheless did a good job."
On whether he still advocated severing of electoral ties with the NCP, he said, "If we had gone alone, things certainly would have been different."
"If you look at the number of rebels, who are getting elected, that number would have been reduced as they would have fought on the party's official ticket," he added.
Asked if the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena helped in ensuring the Congress-NCP alliance's victory in the state, he said, "I don't think so. It's not only the Shiv Sena whose numbers have gone down. The NCP and the Congress have also been affected."