Vilasrao owns moral responsibility for council poll loss

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Mumbai, Mar 26 (UNI) Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh today owned up moral responsibility for the defeat of a sitting MLC and his close confidante Sudhakar Gangane in the biennial elections to the state Legislative Council and refuted the possibility of tendering his resignation.

Speaking to reporters at Vidhan Bhavan, Mr Deshmukh flanked by Revenue Minister Narayan Rane and state Congress chief Prabha Rau, said, ''Enough care of whatever was required was taken. We cannot have lack of trust in our MLAs. The Pradesh Congress unit will investigate the defeat and the High Command will act accordingly.'' Mr Deshmukh dismissed speculations that the Congress could not get all the three candidates elected because of inner party feud and lack of interest shown by Revenue Minister Narayan Rane in finalising the party strategy. ''This is incorrect. Mr Rane, myself and Ms Rau together prepared the strategy to face the polls. We were confident of victory because we had the requisite numbers.

Unfortunately, some of our colleagues fell prey to horse-trading,'' he added.

He said, ''the responsibility of the election result lies with all of us including myself as the CLP leader. Defeat and victory are part of electoral system. Where is the question of resigning ? What am I supposed to do when the party wins any elections?'' Mr Deshmukh said the defeated candidate Sudhakar Gangande was his close personal friend and it was a personal loss to him as well.

''It is also the party's loss because Gangane is a noted OBC leader working for the welfare of the community,''he added.

Turning philosophical, the Chief Minister said the Congress would have to be more cautious and alert. He lamented that victory had many claimants and there was no discussion on it, while nobody wanted to take responsibility of defeat. ''This is politics.'' Meanwhile, BJP leader Gopinath Munde attributed the election results in which both his party candidates were re-elected to the unity of the saffron combine. ''The defeat of the Congress candidate shows that Congress MLAs do not trust the government.

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