Jairam Ramesh to help prepare Congress election strategy

Jairam Ramesh to help prepare Congress election strategy

Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh is set to play an important role in the preparation and execution of the Congress’ 2014 poll strategy, after party president Sonia Gandhi made him convener of a special group to serve as the secretariat for the organisation’s election-coordination committee, headed by Rahul Gandhi.

Ramesh was already made a part of the party’s election coordination committee, constituted by the Congress president on November 15 of last year.

Now, Ramesh is set to be in a position where he will have to discharge a variety of duties while participating in the finalisation and execution of the party’s 2014 Lok Sabha election strategy, under the leadership of the Nehru-Gandhi family scion.

“The Congress president has approved the proposal to constitute a small group with Jairam Ramesh as the convener to facilitate the coordination of various activities related to the Lok Sabha elections in 2014. This group will serve as secretariat for the election coordination committee, which has already been constituted,” the party said in a statement.

Ramesh had previously been given the responsibility to ensure the effective implementation of the party manifesto in Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram and Jharkhand., with Gandhi making him chairman of the manifesto implementation committees for four states.

As chairman of the manifesto implementation committees for four states, the rural development minister also has the responsibility to ensure its effective implementation in Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram and Jharkhand.

With these additional duties, there were indications that Ramesh may quit his ministerial post to devote his time fully to Congress affairs. 

A Rajya Sabha MP from Andhra Pradesh, Ramesh had led the party's poll-strategy panel in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections. He had then resigned from his posts as Minister of State for Power and Minister of State for Commerce and Industry to focus on his assigned work for the party in the run up to the elections.

Besides Ramesh, the Congress president’s political secretary Ahmed Patel, Janardan Dwivedi, Digvijay Singh and Madhusudan Mistry are other members in the election-coordination committee to assist Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, in finalising poll strategies for the Lok Sabha elections next year.

Ramesh, who was part of the Congress poll strategy team even in the 2004 Lok Sabha elections, has so far been considered as an asset to the party. He had also played a significant role in the formulation of the National Common Minimum Programme of the Congress-led UPA after it came to power in May 2004.

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