As the Lok Sabha elections approach, Mallikarjun Kharge, the president of Congress, executed the long-awaited reshuffling of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) secretariat on Saturday, Indian Express reported.
This included relieving Priyanka Gandhi Vadra from her responsibilities as the general secretary for the crucial state of Uttar Pradesh. Priyanka is set to retain her position as general secretary, albeit "without any assigned portfolio". Speculation is rife that she may be assigned a significant role within the organisation.
Avinash Pande, previously responsible for Jharkhand, is set to take over Priyanka's role as the General Secretary in charge of Uttar Pradesh. Despite leading a vigorous campaign focused on women's empowerment during last year's Assembly elections, Priyanka was not eager to maintain her position in UP due to the lack of successful outcomes. The party's performance was disappointing, securing a mere two Assembly seats.
Sachin Pilot was appointed as the general secretary for Chhattisgarh. The recent promotion of Pilot to the position of AICC general secretary, coupled with Ashok Gehlot's induction into the national alliance committee earlier this week, suggests that the Congress may be considering a new candidate for the role of Leader of the Opposition in Rajasthan.
Numerous anticipated alterations have been made. Mukul Wasnik, who has previously overseen several states, is now responsible for Gujarat. Kumari Selja has been relocated from Chhattisgarh to Uttarakhand, while Devender Yadav has been transferred from Uttarakhand to Punjab. Manickam Tagore has moved from Goa to Andhra Pradesh, and Mohan Prakash has been reinstated, now serving as the in-charge of Bihar.
In addition to Pilot, the newly appointed general secretaries include former Jammu and Kashmir Congress president Ghulam Ahmed Mir, who is now responsible for Jharkhand and also oversees West Bengal.
Deepa Dasmunsi has been assigned the duty of Kerala and Lakshadweep, with the extra responsibility of Telangana. Dasmunsi's promotion implies that she might not run for the Lok Sabha election from the Raiganj Lok Sabha seat this time around.
Randeep Surjewala will maintain his position as general secretary in charge of Karnataka, while Deepak Babaria will continue overseeing Delhi and will additionally be in charge of Haryana.
The role of general secretary of communications will still be held by Jairam Ramesh, and KC Venugopal will keep his position as AICC general secretary for the organisation. Meanwhile, Jitendra Singh, previously the general secretary for Assam, has been assigned an additional responsibility for Madhya Pradesh.
Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa will maintain his position as the Rajasthan in-charge. In a surprising turn of events, Maharashtra leader Manikrao Thakre, who recently led the party to an Assembly election win in Telangana, has been reassigned to Goa, Daman & Diu, and Dadra & Nagar Haveli.
Meanwhile, former Goa Congress president Girish Chodankar, who previously headed the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), has been tasked with overseeing Tripura, Sikkim, Manipur, and Nagaland.
The reorganisation led to the departure of Tariq Anwar from his position as general secretary, along with Bhakta Charan Das, Harish Chaudhary, Rajni Patil, and Manish Chatrath who were serving as in-charges.
Nishtha Anushree is Senior Sub-editor at Swarajya. She tweets at @nishthaanushree.
An appeal from Swarajya
We are counting on you!