Union minister Prithviraj Chavan said Wednesday that he was “highly honoured and humbled” Congress chief Sonia Gandhi’s decision to make him the next chief minister of Maharashtra, which was conveyed to him by Defence Minister A.K.Antony in the morning.
The minister of state in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said he requested Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to relieve him of his responsibilities and has got his blessings.
“This (Wednesday) morning Mr. A.K. Anthony informed me that the Congress president has chosen me to lead Maharashtra. I requested the prime minister to relieve me from the responsibilities of the union government and he has blessed me,” Chavan told reporters here.
The prime minister leaves for Seoul, South Korea, later in the day for the G20 summit.
Chavan said he was “highly honoured and humbled” by the fact that the Congress leadership and the Maharashtra legislators have called upon him “to undertake the responsibility of heading the government of Maharashtra at this important juncture”.
Chavan said his immediate course of action will involve completing his responsibilities here and handing these over before taking over the chief minister’s role.
He said he will be holding talks with with National Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar and other Maharashtra Congress leaders.
“I am speaking to all leaders like Vilasrao Deshmukh, Sushil Kumar Shinde and will decide further course of action after taking their advice. I have also spoken to Sharad Pawar on phone and will try and meet all leaders today,” he said.
Confident of the Congress party’s support, Chavan said he accepts the role with “all humility” and that he will try his best to take “everybody” along with him.
“I seek the cooperation and support of all and I promise that I will do my best to give leadership to the state — an eminent state in the country,” he said, adding that he would be leaving for Mumbai Wednesday evening.