New Delhi: Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil and Kiran Choudhary, known detractors of former Chief Ministers Prithviraj Chavan and Bhupinder Singh Hooda, were on Monday made Leaders of Congress Legislature Party in Maharashtra and Haryana where the party lost power.
Chowdhary, daughter-in-law of late Haryana Chief Minister Bansi Lal, was a Minister in the Hooda government. However, she had been vocal in criticising Hooda and had been pressing for change of leadership.
Congress, which went to Assembly polls last month under Hooda's leadership, lost power after 10 years and got only 15 seats in the 90-member House.
The anti-Hooda leaders had impressed upon the high command that the naming of the Congress Legislature Party leader should be used as a political opportunity to start afresh after Hooda's 10-year rule, sources said.
In Maharashtra, Patil, Agriculture Minister in the erstwhile Prithviraj Chavan government, was made the CLP leader.
Patil hails from sugar-rich Ahmednagar district and has been a legislator for long. He was also a minister during the Shiv Sena-BJP government some 20 years back.
He is the son of Balasaheb Vikhe Patil, who had been a minister in the Vajpayee government.
In this state too, Congress fought the elections under Chavan's leadership and lost power after 15 years. The party got only 42 seats in the 288-member House and stood third.
Through these appointments, Congress president Sonia Gandhi has given a clear indication of change as she has not gone as per the wishes of Chavan and Hooda.