05 August, 2021

'Pawar Will Not Remote-Control Us'

Vilasrao Deshmukh, Maharashtra's 54-year-old chief minister, is confident that he will be able to restore the state to its former glory, albeit with a lot of help-from the bureaucracy, from his colleagues and from Lady Luck. He spoke to Sujata Ananda

'Pawar Will Not Remote-Control Us'

How do you propose to come to grips with the many contradictions in your multi-party coalition?

The main issue responsible for the Congress split has now subsided. And if you look at the results, 69 per cent of the votes were cast in favour of the left-of- centre forces. We are clear that despite our differences, we have come together to keep the communal forces out of power. In view of this larger goal, personal differences have been ignored. We are all experienced people and we can be trusted to to give a good, stable, clean government.

For how long?

For a full five-year term. It does not matter who is the chief minister or who a minister. We are all trustees of Maharashtra. Being in government does not mean you can bend all rules.

How will you tackle the bankruptcy plaguing the state?

I have authorised the bureaucracy to prepare a report in five days. None of our decisions will be such that the state will suffer.

Are you confident of the bureaucracy?...

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