Chavan, Hooda remain CMs

Dorjee to be sworn in as Arunachal chief minister today

The decision paves the way for their becoming chief ministers in the two states where the party stormed back to power.

While the party scrambled to resolve the leadership issue in the two states, clarity emerged in Arunachal Pradesh, where the party retained power with an emphatic victory, with incumbent Khandu Dorjee being unanimously elected CLP leader who will take oath as chief minister on Sunday morning.

The decisions to choose Chavan and Hooda to head the CLPs was taken by Congress president Sonia Gandhi after she held several rounds of consultations lasting well past midnight with senior party leaders who, as central observers interacted with the newly elected party MLAs in the last two days eliciting their views on the leadership issue.
Emerging from the long-drawn confabulations at 10 Janpath, the official residence of Gandhi, senior party leader A K Antony, one of the observers for Maharashtra, told mediapersons that 51-year-old Ashok Chavan has been chosen by the Congress president to be the CLP leader in Maharashtra.

Minutes later, Prithviraj Chavan, an observer for Haryana, said Gandhi has selected Hooda, 62, to head the CLP in the state. Congress sources said Hooda is likely to be sworn in as chief minister for a second successive tenure on Sunday morning.
This sets at rest all speculation about Hooda’s continuance in the top post after the Congress failed to secure majority on its own in the 90-member Assembly.

The swearing-in of Chavan as Maharashtra chief minister will take place only after Tuesday when Congress’ alliance partner NCP elects its legislature party leader who will be the deputy chief minister.

Antony, who along with AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh and senior leader K Rehman Khan met all the 82 party MLAs in Mumbai separately earlier in the day to know their mind, said “a large majority” of the legislators had left a decision on the leadership issue to Sonia Gandhi.

The Congress president chose Chavan after meeting all the three leaders from Maharashtra Chavan, Union minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, and Narayan Rane, who were also considered strong contenders for the top post, as also the party central observers for the state.

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