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ELECTIONS 2004

Cong not in mood to change its chief ministers

Monday 31 May 2004

NEW DELHI : While taking stock of the post-election situation, the Congress high command does not seem to be of the view that a change of chief ministers is called for in the states of Maharashtra , Kerala and Punjab where the party has posted weak results.

NEW DELHI : While taking stock of the post-election situation, the Congress high command does not seem to be of the view that a change of chief ministers is called for in the states of Maharashtra , Kerala and Punjab where the party has posted weak results.

Sources said speculation of CMs being changed was somewhat "premature". Induction of new leadership would follow only after replacements had been identified and a detailed cost-benefit analysis was carried out.

Of the three states, Punjab did represent an acute organisational problem as chief minister Amarinder Singh has been at odds with his deputy Rajinder Bhattal.

But here, too, the immediate remedies being considered are more to do with changing the composition of the PCC and the state cabinet rather than a change of CM.

In Maharashtra , where Congress-NCP won 23 of the 48 seats, the party was seen to have countered the anti-incumbency factors to a considerable extent even though its tally was less than that of the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance.

But the failure of the Congress-NCP pact to work outside Mumbai and western Maharashtra is worrying for both parties.

There remains a strong view in the state unit that Sushil Kumar Shinde has not been an effective leader and that the CM’s non-Maratha credentials are not improving the Congress’ prospects either.

But radical surgery does not seem an option that the party high command is willing to consider.

See online : The Times of India

P.S.

in The Times of India, Monday, May 31, 2004.

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