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Despite his team coming under fire over the party’s debacle in the Lok Sabha elections, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi continues to repose his trust on close associates whose performance have come under scanner.
Congress general secretary in-charge of West Bengal, Bihar, Assam and Andaman and Nicobar Islands CP Joshi is likely to be appointed as the chairman of the screening committee — a panel that shortlists party candidates — for Maharashtra which along with Haryana goes to polls in October-November this year.
Coming immediately after the Lok Sabha polls, the assembly elections in both states are crucial for the Congress and the BJP. The Congress has been in power in coalition with the NCP in Maharashtra for the 15 consecutive years since 1999 while it is ruling Haryana for the past 10 years.
On the other hand, the BJP is hoping to come to power in these two states by repeating its performance in the Lok Sabha elections.
The BJP-led NDA won 42 of the total 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra. The NCP won four seats while the Congress could bag only two.
In Haryana, the Congress managed to win just one of the total 10 seats. The BJP won seven seats while the Indian National Lok Dal registered two victories.
Rahul, his advisers and key aides were blamed for the “uninspiring” campaign. Though both Rahul and Congress president Sonia Gandhi owned up the responsibility, the party leaders claimed that the “band of MBA graduates and NGO activists” had caused “irreparable damage” to the organisation.