Congress leaders blame Prithviraj Chavan for poll debacle

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Oct 22, 2014 18:21 IST

After its worst-ever performance in the history of the state, the Congress state leadership is now busy fighting with each other.

It is learnt that knives are out for former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, who led the party in the Assembly poll campaign. Other senior leaders, including former chief minister Narayan Rane, who lost his Kudal seat, Sushilkumar Shinde, and Ashok Chavan, have buried their differences and blamed Chavan for the defeat.

The senior leaders, as well as a majority of the newly-elected legislators, are up in arms against the idea of having Chavan as the leader of the Congress legislative party.

Sources in the party told HT that the Delhi top brass will take a final call on the issue after Diwali, but the state leaders have made their opposition apparent.

Chavan was isolated at the party meeting held late on Monday night with most other leaders not taking his opinion on the issue. Ironically, the meeting had been called by Chavan.“None of the newly-elected legislators want him to be the leader. We lost not just because of anti-incumbency, but also because of a complete organisational failure in election preparation,” said one of the leaders.

He added the decision to split with the NCP had been propelled by Chavan and cost the party dearly. “If you knew the NCP will break the alliance, you should have come up with a contingency plan. Although the Delhi leadership tried to accommodate senior state leaders in the campaign, Chavan tried his best to scuttle it. He shifted the focus of the campaign on his clean image,” said a leader.

Chavan maintained there was little he could do given the strong anti-incumbency sentiment against the government.

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