A quick change is better

If chief ministers are changed, then it has to be done quickly to ensure the successors get time to analyse political situation

Mumbai: Replacing a chief minister after a defeat poses its own problems, especially for a party like the Congress in which factions endlessly seek to play havoc with a CM’s authority.

A good example of the latter is Assam where an influential faction has been trying to get Tarun Gogoi out for the past two years.

The Congress leadership has been faced with the issue of changing the CMs of Maharashtra, Haryana and Assam in the wake of the party’s severe loss in the recent Lok Sabha election and before the state polls in these states.

In the first two, Assembly elections are due before the year is out.

In the three states the party was expected to do reasonably well but has performed poorly.

To that extent some of the responsibility does seem to lie with the CMs, although ordinarily it is the Central government’s performance that is judged in the Parliament election.

If CMs must be changed in states where election is due this year, the exercise would have to be gone through quickly as the successor would need time to consolidate the political situation.

In Maharashtra, an important ally like Sharad Pawar has been consulted. But Prithviraj Chavan would have to be succeeded by another Maratha, and Mr Pawar may not like that.

In Haryana, Bhupinder Hooda can only be replaced by someone from the dominant Jat community who can carry others with him.

In Assam, greater contemplation is required before a change of guard as there is time.

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