Cong dissidents asked to plan strategy in poll-bound states

Cong dissidents asked to plan strategy in poll-bound states

Congress dissidents Narayan Rane and Capt Ajay Yadav appear to have won over by the leadership which has given them the important assignment of planning the party’s election campaign in their states Maharashtra and Haryana respectively.

While Rane chaired the first meeting of the campaign committee for Maharashtra on Friday, Yadav was given the key post by Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Saturday. Party sources said Yadav would get into action soon.

Former MP Naveen Jindal, who was also unhappy with the party, has been appointed the chairman of the publicity committee for Haryana. Maharashtra and Haryana go to polls in October and in both the states the Congress is on a weak wicket after being in power for long.

Both Rane and Yadav had raised revolted against their respective chief ministers and resigned. However, the central leadership promised to address their grievances and urged them to withdraw their resignations.

In Maharashtra, besides the upbeat Shiv Sena-BJP combine the Congress also has to deal with the NCP which is seeking a greater share in the seat sharing talks. At the first meeting of the alliance partners, NCP leader Praful Patel made it clear to his Congress interlocutor Ahmed Patel that the old seat sharing formula of 114-174 was not acceptable.

The mood of the party’s state leadership is to go it alone, but NCP chief Sharad Pawar has already announced that the elections for the 288-member Assembly would be fought in alliance with the Congress.

In Haryana, the Congress has been facing an exodus of top leaders with Chaudhary Birendra Singh joining the BJP and Avtar Singh Bhadana opting for the Indian National Lok Dal. 

A number of state leaders such as Kumari Selja have had running battles with Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda.

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