Maharashtra’s tribe of ex-CMs settling for lesser office grows with Fadnavis agreeing to become deputy CM

In a society acutely conscious of hierarchies and optics that go with it, there’s an unusual phenomenon recurring in Indian politics. Devendra Fadnavis became the third politician from Maharashtra in the last 25 years to settle for a lesser post after having been chief minister.
In the preceding MVA government, Ashok Chavan was a cabinet minister in charge of public works. Between December 2008 and November 2010, he was chief minister of the Congress-NCP coalition government. His father Shankarrao Chavan too agreed to become a minister in a Maharashtra government a few years after he had been chief minister.

 
Another Congress chief minister who agreed to a junior role after having been chief minister of Maharashtra was Shivaji Patil Nilangekar.
Narayan Rane became chief minister in 1999 when the Shiv Sena-BJP came to power for the first time in Maharashtra. He subsequently quit the Shiv Sena and joined Congress. Later he became a minister in the Congress-NCP coalition in Maharashtra between 2010 and 2014. Currently, he is a BJP parliamentarian who is the union minister for micro, small and medium enterprises.
This phenomenon is not confined to Maharashtra. In Tamil Nadu. O. Panneerselvam was former AIADMK chief J. Jayalalitha ‘s preferred stand-in as chief minister. After her death, he was once again CM for a short while and subsequently settled for the slot of deputy chief minister.
These examples may not be enough to conclude that Indian politicians are willing to suppress their ego and contribute in any capacity after they have reached the pinnacle of power in the political executive, but if it becomes more widespread it won’t be a bad thing as there’s no academic or professional qualification which can surpass experience in the difficult art of making choices when faced with messy tradeoffs.
Read also: Maharashtra twist – BJP anoints Eknath Shinde CM, makes Devendra Fadnavis his deputy

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