In a setback to former Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Kiran Choudhry has been chosen to lead the Congress Legislature Party in Haryana where the party lost elections after being in power for 10 years. In Mahararshtra on the other hand where the Congress has been reduced to 42 seats in the Assembly polls, Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil has been appointed as the leader of the Congress Legislature Party.
Vikhe-Patil’s appointment comes shortly after a controversial statement made by his father and senior party leader Balasaheb Vikhe-Patil who suggested that the Congress should consider extending support to the Devendra Fadnavis government in Maharashtra to ensure stability.
However, state Congress chief Manikrao Thakre clarified, “The Congress has already staked claim for the opposition role in Assembly.
There is no question of Congress supporting the BJP government in Maharashtra.”
Vikhe-Patil had held the portfolio of agriculture in the Congress-NCP government. As Vikhe-Patil’s rivalry with Pawars is no secret, the Congress appears to have chosen him to ensure aggressive politics not only against BJP-Shiv Sena but also NCP in coming years.
In Haryana, where the party has been reduced to 15 seats, Kiran Choudhry has been chosen to lead the Congress Legislature Party (clp). Choudhry, the daughter-in-law of former CM Bansi Lal, is also known for her proximity to Sonia Gandhi. Her selection is being considered as yet another testimony to Hooda’s diminishing clout in the high command.
Despite heavy odds, Kiran was the only member of the Bansi Lal clan who won the election. While she was not inducted in the cabinet by Hooda during the second term of the government, she used her clout to make her way into the Cabinet and proved her influence.
Kiran, who has been confined to her constituency so far, has a tough task at hand with the Congress coming under attack from not only the treasury benches but also the main opposition INLD.