Congress appoints new PCC chiefs in UP, HP

Former Union Minister Virbhadra Singh has been appointed as Himachal Pradesh Congress president replacing Kaul Singh Thakur.

The party has made Union Minister Anand Sharma as head of the Congress campaign committee in the poll-bound state.

This is the third time that Virbhadra has been appointed head of state unit of the Congress.  Earlier, he was appointed as HPCC chief in 1977 and 1990.  The Congress high command’s move is being seen as an attempt to placate the five-time chief minister, who wanted a bigger say in ticket distribution in the polls and had been reportedly unhappy over the composition of some poll-related panels.

The appointment of 78-year-old leader, three months before the hill state goes for polls, has come as a big relief for party leaders and workers.  The  Congress strongman had threatened to quit if his grievances were not addressed.

Virbhadra had to resign from the Union Cabinet two months ago after a court framed charges of corruption against him and his wife Pratibha Singh.In another major change in the party organisation, Congress appointed Faizabad MP Nirmal Khatri as chief of UP Congress Committee in place of Rita Bahuguna Joshi, who had put in her papers after the party’ rout in state Assembly elections.

Khatri, 61, known to be close to Gandhi family, began his political career as Youth Congress activist in 1970s. He is considered to be non-controversial.
He was the president of UP Youth Congress from 1982-85, secretary of the All India Congress Committee  between 2004 and 2010 and minister in UP government twice in the 1980s.

New roles

Virbhadra Singh

*  This is the third time that Virbhadra has been appointed head of state unit of the Congress.
*  He had to resign from the Union Cabinet two months ago after a court framed charges of corruption against him and his wife Pratibha Singh.

 Nirmal Khatri

*  He began his political
career as Youth Congress activist in 1970s. 
*  He was the president of Uttar Pradesh Youth Congress from
1982-85,
*  He entered Parliament for the first time in 1984 after winning Lok Sabha polls.


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