Chavan, Gogoi fate uncertain

Cong unlikely to replace Hooda in Haryana

Chavan, Gogoi fate uncertain

Attempting to quell the anti-incumbency mood and infighting in Congress-ruled states, party president Sonia Gandhi met Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on Saturday, further fuelling speculation over his fate which has remained uncertain for quite sometime now.

Sonia also held a confabulation with Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda but Congress sources said that the party seems unlikely to remove him before the state goes to Assembly polls later this year.

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi is scheduled to meet the party president on Sunday in the backdrop of reports that his aide-turned-rival Himanta Biswa Sarma is leading a revolt against him. Gogoi, however, refused to comment on why he was summoned by the party top brass but the party had refused to accept his resignation post poll rout.

Chavan met Sonia, her political secretary Ahmad Patel, former prime minister Manmohan Singh, senior leaders A K Antony, Ghulam Nabi Azad and President Pranab Mukherjee, rounding off hectic parleys over a couple of days that has kept his future in the dark.

It is learnt that Chavan has told the party high command that he should soon take a decision on a change of guard as the “atmosphere of uncertainty” was not good for his state.

A party leader aware of the developments said that no final decision has been taken on removing the Maharashtra chief minister. Chavan refused to comment on his meetings with several leaders. A day before, he had, however, said, “I have not been sounded out on this or called to Delhi in this connection”.

A composite view might emerge after the A K Antony headed poll result review panel interacts with Maharashtra leaders on June 28 to ascertain the cause of the debacle in the Lok Sabha elections. Assembly polls are due in the state towards the year-end.

The Congress president also got an update on the situation in the state from two other state leaders - Shivajirao Deshmukh and Shivajirao Moghe.

On Thursday, two senior Congress leaders met UPA ally and NCP chief Sharad Pawar, who is believed to be pushing for a change in the leadership in the state. Pawar, who never had good equations with Chavan, is said to be pushing for former union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde as a replacement for the present CM.

Of the 48 LS seats in Maharashtra, Congress could manage only two and NCP four.
On the situation in Assam, where internal differences have surfaced again, the Congress top brass has summoned the CM and other leaders after former state Education and Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has made functioning difficult.

More than half of the total 78 Congress MLAs are pitching for a change in the leadership.
Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge might be sent to Guwahati for an on the spot inquiry of the politically volatile situation in the state.

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