Key AICC post for Gehlot, breather for Pilot as Team Rahul takes shape

Key AICC post for Gehlot, breather for Pilot as Team Rahul takes shape

Key AICC post for Gehlot, breather for Pilot as Team Rahul takes shape

Congress President Rahul Gandhi rolled out big changes in the party on Friday by appointing former Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot as AICC general secretary in-charge of organisation, replacing incumbent Janardan Dwivedi.

Rahul also appointed young leaders Rajeev Satav and Jitendra Singh as AICC in-charge of Gujarat and Odisha respectively and party leader from Gujarat Laljibhai Desai as the chief organiser of Seva Dal.

While Satav, a Lok Sabha member from Maharashtra, succeeded Gehlot as the in-charge of Gujarat, Singh replaced AICC general secretary B K Hariprasad who has stepped down.

Desai took the place of Mahendra Joshi, a prominent leader from Madhya Pradesh who had a long innings as the chief organiser of the All India Congress Seva Dal.

Gehlot's appointment to a crucial organisational post in the AICC also paves the way for Rajasthan Congress chief Sachin Pilot to have a free hand in running the party affairs in the state.

Gehlot, a two-term chief minister considered close to both Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi, was always seen as the party's formidable face in Rajasthan and also a strong contender for the chief minister's post should the Congress come to power in December when elections are scheduled.

Satav, an AICC secretary, had worked closely with Gehlot during the Gujarat Assembly elections in December where the Congress gave the BJP a tough fight, restricting it below the 100-seat mark.

In Odisha, Hariprasad had tendered his resignation as AICC general secretary in March last year, owning responsibility for the dismal performance of the Congress in the zila parishad elections. Jitendra Singh, the scion of the Alwar royal family, has succeeded Hariprasad to the post.

"The party appreciates the hard work and contribution of B K Hariprasad who will be stepping down from his responsibility as AICC general secretary in-charge of Odisha," an AICC statement said.

At the AICC plenary earlier this month, Rahul had declared that he would build a new-look Congress by breaking the wall that existed between the workers and senior leaders.

"Some of you might not like what I say. But this organisation needs to change, and we will do that with love," Rahul had said.

Rahul is also expected to reconstitute the Congress Working Committee, the party's top decision-making body, soon.