Under fire for the party’s drubbing in recent elections, former Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan and his Haryana counterpart Bhupinder Singh Hooda are unlikely to be the Congress legislature party (CLP) leaders in their respective states.
The names of Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil, who won the Shirdi assembly seat for the sixth time by an impressive margin, and Balasaheb Thorat, who also won comfortably from Sangamner, are doing the rounds for the CLP leader’s post in Maharashtra.
With the BJP and the Shiv Sena coming together once again, the Congress is likely to get the status of the main opposition party which also entails the post of the leader of the opposition.
Chavan has come under severe criticism for the party’s defeat in Maharashtra.
His detractors have accused him of being “indecisive” during his tenure. One of his main critics, Narayan Rane, blamed him for the party’s debacle in both the Lok Sabha and assembly elections.
But in Haryana, there appears to be few takers for the CLP leader’s post since the Congress came third with 15 out of the total 90 seats.
While the BJP won 47 seats, the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) is the main opposition party with 19 seats.
Former state minister Kiran Choudhary, who retained her Tosham seat, and Kaithal legislator Randeep Singh Surjewala have emerged as the frontrunners for the CLP post.
However, a section in the Congress wants the leadership to use the opportunity to bring in fresh faces in both the states as that would also send a strong message to workers that the party was keen to promote new leadership across the country.