Pranab's daughter Sharmistha to be Congress spokesperson

Pranab's daughter Sharmistha to be Congress spokesperson

President Pranab Mukherjee’s daughter Sharmistha will articulate the Congress' views on television debates. Sharmistha, who unsuccessfully contested the Delhi Assembly elections, has been appointed as one of the 31 media panellists of the Congress.

The rejig of the AICC media team also saw four new additions—Ajay Maken, C P Joshi, Shakeel Ahmed and Satyavrat Chaturvedi—to the list of senior spokespersons.

The 17 new AICC spokespersons appointed by Congress president Sonia Gandhi is dominated by young leaders such as film actor Khushboo, Karnataka minister Dinesh Gundu Rao, and MPs Deepender Hooda, Rajeev Satav, Gaurav Gogoi, Sushmita Deb and Rajiv Gowda. The strong accent on younger faces under the leadership of 47-year-old communication department in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala is indicative of the much-anticipated anointment of Rahul Gandhi as party president sometime this year.

Surjewala is the youngest to lead the Congress media team, a post held earlier by stalwarts such as V N Gadgil, Pranab Mukherjee, Shivraj Patil, M Veerappa Moily, Ambika Soni and Janardan Dwivedi.

The new spokespersons include RPN Singh, Rajya Sabha MPs P L Punia and Rajni Patil, and former MPs Madhu Goud Yakshi and Vijay Inder Singla.

Bhakta Charan Das and Meem Afzal, who were spokespersons earlier, made a comeback after several months. Priyanka Chaturvedi, who was a TV panelist for the party, has also been brought in as spokesperson.

The new list will complement the existing team of spokespersons consisting of Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Ajoy Kumar, Jyotiraditya Scindia, P C Chacko, Raj Babbar, Rita Bahuguna Joshi, Sandeep Dikshit, Sanjay Jha, Shaktisinh Gohil and Shobha Oza. Former Union minister Manish Tewari, whose statements it had to distance itself from on many occasions was also included in the list of media panellists.   Tom Vadakkan, the secretary of the AICC Communications Department for over a decade, has been elevated as party spokesperson.

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