Congress on Friday appeared to rule out change of guard in party-ruled Haryana, where assembly elections are due this year-end, despite internal dissenssion coming to fore afresh in the state unit after the Lok Sabha poll debacle.
"At present, Ashok Tanwar is the PCC President of Haryana and Bhupinder Singh Hooda is the CLP leader and Chief Minister. What will happen tomorrow, I can't say at this juncture but today the postion is that Hooda is the CLP leader and Tanwar PCC chief," party spokesperson and general secretary in-charge for Haryana Shakeel Ahmed told reporters.
A senior party functionary, speaking separately on condition of anonymity, said "any change of PCC chief and Chief Minister in Haryana is not under consideration." Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, who had held deliberations with Haryana leaders yesterday, told them to put up a united face as bickering in the state unit came to fore after the party's debacle in Lok Sabha polls.
Gandhi had held an hour-long meeting with Hooda, Tanwar, former Union Minister Kumari Selja, Shakeel Ahmed and senior leader from the state Chaudhary Birender Singh.
"Shun groupism" message was loud and clear for leaders in the deliberations during which Gandhi also asked the Chief Minister to take everybody along with him as the state is set to face assembly polls by the end of this year.
There has been a demand for change of guard in the state from Hooda's detractors for quite a long time.
Selja, firing a fresh salvo at the Chief Minister in the first week of June, had said he should have offered to resign owing moral responsibility for the party's debacle in Haryana.
Congress could win only one of 10 Lok Sabha seats in the state with the Chief Minister's son Dipender Hooda being the lone Congress candidate winning from Rohtak seat.