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Cong likely to replace Chavan as Maharashtra CM, opt for Shinde

Cong likely to replace Chavan as Maharashtra CM, opt for Shinde

Mumbai: Rattled by the electoral debacle, the Congress is seriously considering replacing Chief Ministers of Maharashtra, Assam and Haryana in a major shake-up ahead of Assembly elections.

The party is also mulling a shake up in its units 8 to 10 states including Uttar Pradesh, where the PCC chief can be replaced.

The names of former Union Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, a dalit leader and state ministers Bala Saheb Thorat and Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil are doing the rounds as successor to incumbent Prithviraj Chavan.

Top Congress leaders A K Antony and Ahmed Patel today met NCP chief Sharad Pawar at his residence for half an hour, when they discussed the possibility of change of guard in Maharashtra, where the 15-year-old coalition was routed in the Lok Sabha polls. The state will see Assembly polls later this year.

A top leader said on the condition of anonymity that there are "fifty fifty chances" of change of guard in Assam, Maharashtra and Haryana.

The leader, however, made it clear that no decision is likely to be taken before Monday. Though he refused to assign any reason for it, there is speculation that Congress President Sonia Gandhi may be away for a few days.

"The party's mood is to for change unless there are some difficulties. Besides that PCC chiefs of 8 to 10 states will also be replaced," the leader said indicating that any

brainstorming exercise of Congress like a Chintan Shivir could begin only a decision on changes in the states are taken.

Another senior party leader also said that party veteran A K Antony will be meeting PCC chiefs, CLP leaders and other party functionaries from various states from next Monday and will discuss what went wrong with the party in the Lok Sabha polls and the strategy ahead.

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