Sonia strikes balancing act before all important Congress presidential poll

Express News Service
NEW DELHI:  Congress chief Sonia Gandhi has done a fine balancing act in the recent organisational revamp and new appointments in central and state units to avoid a chasm between old and young leaders.

With the party preparing to hold presidential elections by next month, the long overdue organisational revamp has started to put up a team of old and young leaders for ensuring smooth functioning of the new party chief.

There are already talks of return of Rahul Gandhi as party chief, who till recently was unwilling to lead the party.

On Wednesday, it announced senior observers for upcoming assembly elections in which some members of the ‘dissenter’ group found place. Party general secretary Mukul Wasnik and former union minister M Veerappa Moily were named as observers in Assam and Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, respectively.  

Team Rahul members and MPs B Manickam Tagore, A Chellakumar and S Jothimani found place in the revamp of the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee which also has veterans P Chidambaram and Mani Shankar Aiyar. 

Also part of the committee is Karti Chidambaram, the MP from Sivaganga in Tamil Nadu, who criticised the formation of a “jumbo panel” in the state. 

A similar balance was seen in Rajasthan, where the Ashok Gehlot-led party government spent some anxious time as Sachin Pilot nearly exited from the party with his loyalists.

According to party sources, some more organisational changes are expected in coming days in state units and a balance will be maintained to ensure both old and young Turks are on board. 

Overhaul in Rajasthan unit

Nearly six months after it was dissolved during the political crisis after Sachin Pilot’s revolt, the Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) was reconstituted with the appointment of seven vice-presidents, eight general secretaries and 24 secretaries.

The AICC struck a balance between the rival camps led by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Pilot.

Both the CM and Pilot congratulated the new office-bearers and took to Twitter to convey their best wishes to the new PCC team.