Pilot made Rajasthan PCC chief, Arun Yadav new MP party head

Pilot made Rajasthan PCC chief, Arun Yadav new MP party head

Marking a generational shift in politics of the two states, Union Minister Sachin Pilot and party MP Arun Yadav were today appointed as Congress chief in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh where the party was routed in Assembly polls.

The appointment of the young faces as state chiefs is in line with Rahul Gandhi's long-term plans to rebuild the party in states and both the leaders are expected to be put in the states for a long haul.

Both Pilot and Yadav belong to the OBC community, which Congress has not been able to reach out in a big way in the Hindi heartland so far.

While the 36-year-old Minister for Corporate Affairs is a close associate of party Vice President Rahul Gandhi and is the son of late Union Minister Rajesh Pilot, 39-year-old Yadav is son of senior party leader Subhash Yadav, who was at one time the Deputy Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh.

The two young leaders have been entrusted the party responsibility in crucial states at a time Congress is on a downturn. While Madhya Pradesh has 29 Lok Sabha seats, Rajasthan has 25 seats.

While the party led by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot lost power in Rajasthan in this assembly elections, it repeated its third consecutive defeat in Madhya Pradesh where Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led BJP government scored a hattrick.

In both states, Congress recorded its worst-ever performance. While it could secure just 21 out of the 200 Assembly seats in the desert state, it got only 58 seats in Madhya Pradesh in worst ever-performance in last three assembly elections elections.

Pilot replaces Chandrabhan, who was defeated in the Assembly polls while Yadav replaces Kantilal Bhuria, the former Tribal Affairs Minister.

Both Pilot and Yadav have an independent image in the faction-ridden state units of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, which seem to have gone in their favour.

While Pilot's mothher Rama Pilot was also MP for a term, Yadav's father was also PCC chief of Madhya Pradesh at one time. 

While Pilot is an MBA from Wharton Business School, USA and a graduate from St Stephens College, Yadav is a commerce graduate from Jaipur and agriculturist.Yadav had also served as Minister of State for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises and for Agriculture and Food Processing Industries in the UPA II government from 2009 to 2011.

Welcoming Pilot's appointment, AICC general secretary in-charge for Rajasthan Gurudas Kamat said it is an "excellent choice" and Pilot will give a new direction to the PCC.

"It is an excellent choice. He is a young and dynamic leader, who has proved his popularity. He comes from a very good family with his father and mother having already served the citizenry of the state. I am sure he will give a clear and new direction to the PCC in Rajasthan," Kamath said.

Sources said that apart from Pilot, a number of other leaders were also in the race for the job including AICC general secretary C P Joshi, Union Minister Lalchand Kataria and party MP Mahesh Joshi.

With Pilot's appointment as PCC chief, an overhaul is expected in the party's state unit.
 The new CLP leader for Rajasthan would be chosen in a party meeting on Wednesday with party general secretary Kamath and Union Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad going to Jaipur as observers.

In Madhya Pradesh, MLA and senior leader Satyadev Katare has already been nominated as Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader paving his way to become the Leader of Opposition in Madhya Pradesh Assembly.

In Madhya Pradesh, the name of Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, who had been Chairman of the campaign committee of the party in the recent Assembly polls was also under consideration.

There was no clarity whether Pilot will have to resign as Union Minister in the wake of the new assignment as the PCC Chief. AICC sources said a principled decision in this regard will be taken sooner than later.

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