After Telangana & Kerala, Rahul rejigs West Bengal unit

After Telangana & Kerala, Rahul rejigs West Bengal unit

PTI photo.

Ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, Congress President Rahul Gandhi has gone for a rejig in the leadership in key states.

After a reshuffle in Telangana and Kerala, Rahul on Friday made veteran leader Somendra Nath Mitra, a known detractor of Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, as the President of the West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee (WBPCC).

Mitra replaces Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, another Mamata detractor, who helmed WBPCC for nearly four years. Chowdhury has been accommodated as the chairman of the Campaign Committee of the state Congress.

Mitra had quit the Congress in 2008 and floated a local outfit, which later merged with Banerjee's Trinamool Congress. Mitra was also elected to the Lok Sabha as a Trinamool member. However, he quit the Trinamool and returned to the Congress in 2015.

Rahul also appointed four working Presidents – Shankar Malakar, Nepal Mahato, Abh Hasem Khan Chowdhury and Deepa Dasmunsi. Except Khan Chowdhury, the three working Presidents are also known for their anti-Mamata stand.

Senior leader Pradip Bhattacharya has been named as the chairman of the Coordination Committee and Abhijeet Mukherjee, the Parliamentarian son of former President Pranab Mukherjee will head the Manifesto Committee of the party in West Bengal.

Earlier this week, Rahul appointed senior leaders Ponnam Prabhakar and A Revanth Reddy as working Presidents of the Telangana unit of the Congress. Reddy had quit the Telugu Desam Party last year to join the Congress.The party's working President in Telangana, Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka, will also lead the 17-member Campaign Committee.

Rahul also constituted 41-member Pradesh Election Committee, which will be headed by Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee President Uttam Kumar Reddy. Former deputy chief minister of undivided Andhra Pradesh, Damodar Rajanarasimha will be the chairman of the Manifesto Committee. Senior leader V Hanumantha Rao will head Strategy and Planning Committee.

On Wednesday, Rahul appointed Mullapally Ramachandran as the President of the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC).

A prominent leader of the powerful Ezhava community, Ramachandran succeeds M M Hassan, who was asked to officiate after the sudden resignation of the then KPCC President V M Sudheeran in March last year.

Senior leaders K Sudhakaran, M I Shanawaz and K Suresh were appointed as working Presidents of the KPCC, while K Muraleedharan, an aspirant for the top party post, was named as the chairman of the Campaign Committee.

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