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   Now that Mr. Chhagan Bhujbal is to be made a minister... (December 18, 1991)

Now that Mr. Chhagan Bhujbal is to be made a minister, the question is: what portfolio to give him?

Several suggestions have bee made, among them that he should be made minister for urban development. If is felf that his experience as mayor, when he converted Bombay into Sunder Mumbai, Harvi Mumbai, should be of considerable use for this portfolio. However, it is likely that Mr. Bhujbal may not accept this portfolio as it is lightweight.

It has also been suggested that he should be made minister in charge of State Transport buses. But the same argument applies here. Also, nobody can be expected to defect from the Shiv Sena, defy its leadership, go underground, stay underground, join the Congress, then end up as minister for ST buses.

Some people in the Congress party would like him to be minister for dairy development. But this proposal, it is felt, has come from that section of the Congress which is not happy with either welcoming Mr. Bhujbal into the party of making him a minister. Mr. Bhujbal, naturally cannot be expected to accept the post of dairy development minsiter; he would rather stay underground permanently.

It is not known whether Mr. Bhujbal has himself been asked his choice. If so, it is felt, he must have indicated his preference for the finance minister's job. And before anybody takes umbrage to this, let me point out that this is not as absurd a proposal as it may sound. Consider all the pevious finance ministers that the state has had none of them have come from banking backgrounds. Also, being the Maharastra finance minister does not involve presenting the union budget.

Making him education minister is also not such a bad idea. Mr. Bhujbal's love for education and his efforts to promote it are well known. It is felt that with him in charge of education, Maharastra should achieve 100 per cent literacy.

One suggestion os that he should be made home minister. It would bring him in direct and healthy conflict withy the Shiv Sena every time it annonces a bandh or create general mayhem. Then, once and for all, it will be known who is the stronger of the two: Manohar Joshi or Chhagan Bhujbal.

There is also a small but influential group in the Congress which would like Mr. Bhujbal to be the chief minister. If that happens, Mr. Sudhakarrao Naik will join the Shiv Sena.

 
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