Cong reshuffle likely,UP may see new team

Sonia is preparing to effect organisational overhaul in AICC office-bearers and leadership in states.

Written by D K Singh | New Delhi | Published: March 13, 2012 12:17:20 am

Upset over the party’s electoral setback in the recent Assembly polls,Congress president Sonia Gandhi is preparing to effect an organisational overhaul involving not only the AICC office-bearers but also leadership in states. Sources,however,said the exercise will be carried out only after extensive deliberations and “not in a haste”.

While change of leadership in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh is a certainty,the Congress high command will also make changes in many other states where the organisation is in a shambles,said sources. Among the PCC chiefs who are said to be under the scanner are Subhash Shirodkar of Goa,Pradeep Balmuchu of Jharkhand,Manikrao Thakre of Maharashtra,and Phool Chand Mulana of Haryana. Arunachal Pradesh PCC chief Nabam Tuki,who recently became the Chief Minister,will be divested of his organisational responsibility.

Although Sonia had given a clean chit to in-charges of states which had gone to polls recently,stating that they had done hard work,sources said that ‘portfolios’ of some general secretaries may be changed. Many party leaders are of the view that Rahul Gandhi,who has been holding charge of the Youth Congress and the NSUI,should “move on” and be given more responsibility. Given that the democratisation process initiated by him through internal elections in the youth and student wings of the party is still not complete,Rahul may not be inclined to give it up at this stage,said sources.

“Rahul has already made it clear that he is not going to leave the state until he brings about the change there. UP will remain his focus area and efforts will be made to rectify the mistakes that we committed in the Assembly election. There will be more thrust on UP in the run-up to 2014 Lok Sabha elections,” said a senior leader,adding that there is a possibility of passing over the party’s reins in the state to a new set of leaders.

The party leadership’s main concern is,however,the sliding fortune of the Congress in some key states like Andhra Pradesh,which had sent 33 Congress MPs to the Lok Sabha in 2009. Since the rebellion by Jaganmohan Reddy and continuing agitation over Telangana,the Congress has witnessed a steady decline in its stronghold in Andhra Pradesh. In Karnataka,despite a series of scandals involving BJP leaders and continuous infighting in the state BJP,the Congress has failed to cash in,said a senior leader from the state adding that the party is not pushing for a mid-term poll in the state because of its “unpreparedness”. In Orissa,PCC chief Niranjan Patnaik is facing flak from party colleagues for taking little initiative to revive the organisation.

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