Azad gets key charge in Congress reshuffle

With the Lok Sabha polls drawing closer,the Congress carried out a major organisational reshuffle by handing over the responsibility of four crucial states Karnataka,Tamil Nadu,Orissa and Puducherry to Ghulam Nabi Azad

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published:February 20, 2009 4:11 am

With the Lok Sabha polls drawing closer,the Congress carried out a major organisational reshuffle by handing over the responsibility of four crucial states Karnataka,Tamil Nadu,Orissa and Puducherry to Ghulam Nabi Azad in his first political assignment at the Centre after his tenure as Jammu and Kashmir CM.

While Azad was inducted as the new general secretary,the Congress president divested three states in-charge Ajay Maken (Jharkhand and Orissa),Kishore Chandra Deo (programme monitoring) and Arun Kumar (Tamil Nadu) of the responsibility. Maken and Deo have been freed of the responsibility as they are contesting the Parliamentary elections.

While Deo was retained as a CWC member,former Maharashtra chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh,Goa Chief Minister Luizinho Faleiro and former Andhra Pradesh PCC Chief K Keshav Rao have been made permanent invitees to CWC. Preparing for a tough battle against the BJP in Karnataka,Sonia Gandhi has also inducted Karnataka CLP leader Mallikarjun Kharge into the CWC.

While the senior Karnataka leader Margaret Alva failed to get rehabilitated,former Home Minister Shivraj Patil,who was forced to resign after Mumbai terror attacks last year,was partially rehabilitated by being made the chairman of the screening committee of Arunachal Pradesh,Chhattisgarh,Nagaland and Tripura.

The reshuffle carried out to put in place a team for the forthcoming elections,changes the responsibilities of nine general secretaries and 38 secretaries.

It,however,retained the responsibilities of Rahul Gandhi (NSUI and Youth Congress),Digvijay Singh (In-charge UP) and Veerappa Moily (in-charge,Assam and Andhra Pradesh).

Among the major changes,Luizinho Faleiro was made the in-charge of Sikkim,Meghalaya and Manipur while West Bengal and Jharkhand was assigned to K Keshav Rao. Mohsina Kidwai,who has been handling the charge of Kerala and West Bengal,was assigned Punjab,Himachal Pradesh,Kerala,Chandigarh,Lakshadweep and Mahila Congress.

Another general secretary,Mukul Wasnik,was assigned the charge of Delhi,which was handled by Ashok Gehlot before taking over as the Chief Minister of Rajasthan,and Congress Seva Dal in addition to his charge of Rajasthan.

Prithviraj Chauhan,who was divested of the responsibility of Karnataka,will continue to handle Jammu and Kashmir and has been assigned the charge of Haryana as well.

General secretary Janardan Dwivedi has been assigned the additional charge of organisational election and training. He has also been assigned the responsibility of programme co-ordination,earlier with Kishore Chandra Deo.

In an apparent concession to Maratha strong man Sharad Pawar,senior party leader A K Antony has been retained as the party in-charge for Maharashtra while R K Dhawan has been made in-charge of Uttarakhand.

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