After debacle, Congress begins party revamp

After debacle, Congress begins party revamp

After the  debacle in the recent Assembly elections, the Congress on Thursday set in motion the process to revamp the organisation by replacing state unit chiefs in Chhattisgarh, Delhi and Goa.

Former Delhi minister Arvinder Singh Lovely has been appointed Pradesh Congress president replacing J P Agarwal who had put in his papers after the party’s rout in the Assembly elections.

Bhupesh Baghel, a former Chhattisgarh minister, succeeds Charandas Mahant as the PCC chief in the tribal-dominated state. Mahant was appo­inted Chhattisgarh PCC chief after the Congress leadership in the state was wiped out in a Maoist attack in May. Mahant was not on the best of terms with former chief minister Ajit Jogi, which was cited as one of the reasons for the party’s loss in the recent Assembly elections.

On Wednesday, the Congr­ess had appointed John F Ferna­ndes as PCC chief of the Goa unit. He succeeded Subh­ash Shirodkar. Young MP Ashok Tanwar is expected to be named as the Haryana Congress chief on Friday. The party will soon announce new state unit chiefs in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. While Kantilal Bhuria heads the Madhya Pr­adesh unit, Chandrabhan had resigned as the president of the Rajasthan unit after he lost his Assembly seat in the recent elections. The Congress won only 21 seats in the 200-member Assembly.

There are also reports of Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna being replaced due to non-performance. Though the change is long overdue, the Congress has been delaying the move as it may upset the apple cart in the state.

Reshuffle in the All India Congress Committee (AICC), too, is on cards as a number of general secretaries are set to resign from their posts in line with vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s directive to those keen on contesting Lok Sabha elections next year.

General secretaries, includi­ng Shakeel Ahmed, B K Hariprasad, Gurudas Kamat, Mukul Wasnik and C P Joshi are expected to resign from their posts to test electoral waters. All those who are expected to quit are in charge of party affairs in states.

Ajay Maken, who heads the Communications Department, may continue in his post as he is not in charge of any state.

At a recent meeting of AICC office-bearers, Gandhi had given the option to general secretaries to choose between contesting elections and retaining their posts.

Digvijay Singh, general secr­etary in charge of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Goa, has expressed his desire to contest Lok Sabha elections fr­om Madhya Pradesh.

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