Shakeel Ahmed, Congress general secretary in-charge of Haryana, said that Hooda met Gandhi in the national capital.

Sources later said that Hooda will continue as Chief Minister and also lead the party in the Assembly polls. The term of the present Haryana Assembly will end in October after which the elections would be held.

After the party's rout in the general elections, there was much speculation of a revamp of the state leadership. Senior Congress leader Birender Singh had recently spoken out against Hooda's leadership in the state and blamed him for the poll debacle.

Singh reportedly also said at a rally in Jind last month that he would not contest the upcoming assembly elections under the leadership of Hooda.

In the Lok Sabha elections, the Congress managed to win just one of the 10 seats in Haryana whereas rivals BJP won seven seats and INLD two.

The lone Congress winner in the state was Hooda's son Deepender Hooda who managed to retain his Lok Sabha seat from Rohtak.

Following the rout of the party, there was much talk that the existing leadership of the state may have to take the blame. However, sources said that there is also a viewpoint in the party that Hooda should continue especially as it is felt that there exists a TINA (There is no Alternative) factor.

Party sources said that it is also felt that the voting patterns would not be the same for the state elections and Congress will manage to put up a better showing that its performance in the Lok Sabha elections.

(Agencies)

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