Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday appointed Mallikarjun Kharge as in-charge of the party’s Maharashtra unit. Kharge replaces Mohan Prakash.
“I thank Sonia Gandhi ji, Rahul Gandhi ji for giving me the opportunity. I also thank people of Maharashtra and state unit for their cooperation and love,” Mohan Prakash said. The Congress leader added that he was ready to play whatever role the party offered him.
Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) president Ashok Chavan also welcomed the appointment of Kharge. Talking to PTI, Chavan said Kharge has handled state responsibilities for the party during the 2014 Lok Sabha and Assembly polls and was well acquainted with state politics.
“He is an experienced and senior leader. Kharge’s experience will be useful to strengthen the Congress in Maharashtra,”Chavan said.
Former Minister of State JD Seelam and former Congress Seva Dal chief Mahendra Joshi have been appointed as the secretary and Shashi Kant Sharma as the joint secretary of AICC.
Rahul Gandhi also constituted screening committees for selecting candidates in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Mizoram. Kumari Selja, Madhusudan Mistry, Bhubaneshwar Kalita, V D Satheesan & Luizinho Falerioa will head the five panels respectively.
While former Gujarat Pradesh Mahila Congress (GPMC) president Sonal Patel, Ashish Dua from Haryana and Telangana MLA Sampath Kumar were appointed as secretaries of AICC, Maharashtra.
On the other hand, Tamil Nadu leaders Christopher Tilak and C D Meyyappan were appointed as AICC secretaries for Andhra Pradesh.
Party sources said that restructuring of the Congress’ state units was on the cards ever since Rahul Gandhi took charge as party chief. “Maharashtra is an important state since it sends 48 MPs to the Lok Sabha, second only to Uttar Pradesh (80 seats). Therefore, Kharge’s appointment shows the seriousness with which the party looks at the state,” the sources said. They added that Kharge, who hails from Karnataka, understands Maharashtra “very well”.
(With inputs from PTI)