CONGRESS … Sonia effects reshuffle; edges Azad out of general secretary post; Rahul Gandhi loyalists to the fore


NEW DELHI: The Congress leadership has effected major changes at the apex of the party in a reshuffle Friday evening, and a major change has been the removal of Ghulam Nabi Azad from the post of a general secretary for the party. 

Azad is however retained in the Working Committee. Randeep Singh Surjewala, a Rahul loyalist, has been made general secretary in charge of Karnataka. Tariq Anwar has been made general secretary in-charge of Kerala, where assembly polls are due in six months’ time. Jitin Prasada will be in charge of party affairs for West Bengal.

Former Union minister P Chidambaram, Jitendra Singh, Rajiv Shukla, Pramod Tiwari and Randeep Singh Surjewala have been made regular CWC members. The CWC will have 22 members plus 26 permanent invitees and 10 special invitees.

A six-member special panel to assist Sonia Gandhi as interim president has been confirmed. This includes Ahmad Patel, AK Antony, Ambika Soni, KC Venugopal, Mukul Wasnik and Ranjit Singh Surjewala.

Also dropped from the general secretary posts are Motilal Vora who handled finance for the party at the behest of Sonia Gandhi, Ambika Soni and L Falerio.

Azad was a prominent member of the 23-member team of Congress leaders who sought reforms in the organizational set-up of the party and a permanent president. The Rahul loyalists seems to have gained upper hand in the present reshuffle. IHN-NN


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