Congress in revamp mode, mulls leadership change in three states

NEW DELHI (TIP): A month after the Congress got decimated in the Lok Sabha polls, the party seems to be in revamp mode. Top sources have confirmedthat the party’s immediate priority is to quell the rebellion in its ranks, especially in the states it rules.

The Congress is reportedly looking at a possible change of chief ministers in Maharashtra, Assam and Haryana. Sources say the revamp will not confine itself to just containing rebellion but also bringing in new faces in the form of party chiefs in the states. Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi has been facing dissidence for over two years now, but the Lok Sabha debacle has made his continuation untenable. The party managed just three out of 14 seats in a state where it has been in power since 2001.

In Haryana, Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda faces severe opposition from party colleagues and former union minister Kumari Selja. The party could manage just one seat in the general elections. Hooda’s counterpart in Maharashtra, Prithviraj Chavan, also faces an uncertain future.

On Thursday, Sharad Pawar, whose Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) is an ally in the state, met the Congress’ AK Antony and Ahmed Patel and both sides reportedly confirmed that their state legislators are seeking a change in leadership. The Congress-NCP combine was decimated in the Lok Sabha elections. “Right now, we are seriously considering leadership change in these three states but all I can say is that the odds of a new incumbent taking over in these three states are 50-50,” said a top Congress source. Assembly elections in Haryana and Maharashtra are about three months away.

The Congress leadership seems hesitant in effecting a change; many argue that changing chief ministers in these states will have little or no impact on the outcome of the elections. However, in case of Assam, many believe that the party can make a good comeback with a fresh face as elections there are due in 2016.

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Volume 4 Issue 41 | Dallas | Oct 21

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