iconimg Monday, May 25, 2015

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, July 10, 2014
The Congress leadership has decided against any change of guard in Maharashtra and Haryana in view of the fast approaching assembly elections in the two states. The reprieve for Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan and his Haryana counterpart Bhupinder Singh Hooda came in the form of direction from the Congress high command to the two leaders to work for the party’s victory in coming polls, due in October-November this year.

A senior functionary was categorical in ruling out any change in the two states. “No change. Both Chavan and Hooda will continue as chief ministers,” he said.

The dissidence in Maharashtra and Haryana gathered momentum after the Congress faced rout in both the states in the Lok Sabha elections. The central leadership had stepped in to mollify the rival camps, holding a series of meetings with rebel leaders.

Having been in power in Maharashtra for 15 consecutive years and two successive terms in Haryana, the Congress is up against a resurgent BJP-led alliance in both the states.

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The NDA won 42 of the total 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra while the Congress could manage to win just one seat in Haryana.

On their part, Chavan and Hooda discussed the poll preparedness with Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi.

Chavan had on Wednesday said that he had a “very good meeting” with the Congress president during which he briefed her about the party’s strategy for the poll battle.