Sonia drops five gen secys

Congress president Sonia Gandhi today revamped the party organisation, dropping five senior general secretaries, including Ghulam Nabi Azad and Motilal Vora, reconstituting the working committee and forming a new five-member panel to assist her.

The changes come close on the heels of 23 leaders writing to Sonia seeking that the party be overhauled. Sonia today accommodated some members of the ginger group — Mukul Wasnik, Jitin Prasada and Arvinder Lovely — while leaving Kapil Sibal and Manish Tewari in the cold, for now.

Although Sonia retained letter writers Azad and Anand Sharma in the CWC, she sacked Azad as general secretary in-charge of Haryana, appointing newcomer Vivek Bansal in his place. The general secretaries who have been dropped are Azad, Motilal Vora, Ambika Soni, Mallikarjun Kharge and Luizinho Faleiro.

Wasnik, who was a signatory to the controversial letter, has been made general secretary, Madhya Pradesh, while Harish Rawat is the new general secretary for Punjab, replacing previous state in charge Asha Kumari.

AICC media head Randeep Surjewala has been promoted as AICC general secretary, Karnataka, made a regular CWC member and is among five leaders who will assist Sonia in organisational matters. The other panel members are AK Antony, Ahmed Patel, Ambika Soni and KC Venugopal.

Rahul Gandhi’s aides — Surjewala, Venugopal, Ajay Maken, Jitendra Singh — have bagged general secretary berths alongside Priyanka Vadra (UP), Oommen Chandy (Andhra Pradesh) and Tariq Anwar (Kerala). His aides also dominate the in charge list — Punjab MLA Kuljit Nagra (Sikkim, Nagaland, Tripura), Rajeev Satav (Gujarat, Dadra Nagar Haveli), Rajeev Shukla (Himachal Pradesh), Manickam Tagore (Telangana) and Rajni Patil (Jammu and Kashmir).

Former Railway Minister Pawan Bansal is now general secretary (Administration), replacing Vora, and also a permanent CWC invitee. P Chidambaram has been made a regular member instead of permanent along side Tariq Anwar, Surjewala and Jitendra Singh.

Sonia has dropped four Vora, Faleiro, Adhir Ranjan and Tamradhwaj Sahu as regular CWC members, shifting Adhir as a permanent invitee to the CWC.

Gainers from region

Surjewala: Made general secretary, Karnataka; CWC regular member; On panel to assist Sonia
Pawan Bansal: Returns as general secretary (Admn), replacing Vora; made CWC permanent invitee
Harish Rawat: Made gen secy, Punjab, replacing Asha Kumari
Kuljit Nagra: Made CWC permanent invitee & AICC in charge of Sikkim, Nagaland