As the Congress held its fort in the key industrial states of Haryana and Maharashtra [ Images ] and strategically important Arunachal Pradesh, the three incumbent chief ministers -- Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Ashok Chavan [ Images ] and Dorjee Khandu [ Images ] -- are likely to retain their place in the new governments.
But while the two chief ministers in Maharashtra and Arunachal Pradesh are sitting pretty, pressure is mounting on Hooda, as the party has failed to reach the simple majority mark of 46 seats in the 90-seat Haryana assembly.
The Congress managers privately admit that they had expected a much better result in Haryana, given a weak Opposition alliance, after Om Prakash Chautala's Indian National Lok Dal, former Congress CM Bhajanlal's Haryana Janhit Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party [ Images ] failed to forge a pre-poll alliance.
According to top Congress sources, party president Sonia Gandhi [ Images ] was not in favour of changing the chief ministers on account of the 'continuity factor'. Five months ago, during the formation of the second United Progressive Alliance [ Images ] government at the Centre, Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [ Images ] gave a lot of weight to this continuity issue and reinstated the same faces in key portfolios like P Chidambaram [ Images ] (Home), Pranab Mukherjee [ Images ] (Finance) and A K Antony (Defence).
This time, too, after winning the 'prestige battle' in three states -- the first series of assembly elections after the Lok Sabha polls -- the incumbent CMs are all set to get another chance to rule the state. "Why should incumbent CMs be removed when the party has returned to power?" said a top minister of the central government.