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HindustanTimes Mon,28 Jul 2014

Cong under pressure to change leadership in Haryana, U’khand

Aurangzeb Naqshbandi, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, June 05, 2014
First Published: 12:07 IST(5/6/2014) | Last Updated: 12:09 IST(5/6/2014)

Discontent is brewing in the Congress in many states after its poll drubbing with dissidents putting pressure on the party high command to change the leadership in Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Maharashtra and Assam.

The party leadership is caught in a dilemma, particularly in Haryana and Maharashtra, as the two states go to the polls in October-November this year.

In Haryana, senior leaders such as Kumari Selja and Chaudhary Birender Singh have again raised a banner of revolt against chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda. Congress sources said the two leaders have urged the high command to “immediately sack” Hooda as otherwise the party would face decimation in the assembly elections.

In Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, dissidents have been demanding a change of guard on the ground that the party had failed to open its account in both the hill states.

Himachal chief minister Virbhadra Singh and his Uttarakhand counterpart Harish Rawat could not even ensure the victory of their spouses, a central Congress leader said.

In Maharashtra, industries minister Narayan Rane is leading the revolt against chief minister Prithviraj Chavan. He has conveyed to the Congress leadership that if Chavan was not replaced, the party would “badly lose” the coming elections.

The Congress high command is also grappling with the dissidence in Assam where 45 legislators are demanding chief minister Tarun Gogoi’s exit. The party has 78 MLAs in the house of 126 members. Health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma is leading the rebellion against Gogoi.

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