Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Friday appointed new general secretaries and heads of the All India Congress Committee. Leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ambika Soni, Moti Lal Vohra, Luzenio Falerio and Mallikarjun Kharge were dropped from the list of general secretaries.
Azad was among 23 Congress leaders who had written a letter to Sonia Gandhi asking for radical changes in the party in order to improve its electoral chances. He was the general secretary of the Congress in Haryana.
According to the new appointments, Mukul Wasnik will be the party’s general secretary in Madhya Pradesh, Harish Rawat in Punjab, Oommen Chandy in Andhra Pradesh, Tariq Anwar in Kerala and Lakshadweep, Priyanka Gandhi in Uttar Pradesh, Randeep Singh Surjewala in Karnataka, Jitendra Singh in Assam and Ajay Maken in Rajasthan. KC Venugopal will be the organisational general secretary.
The party set up a special committee to help Sonia Gandhi in organisational and operational matters. The committee will comprise AK Antony, Ahmed Patel, Ambika Soni, KC Venugopal, Mukul Wasnik and Randeep Singh Surjewala. None of the dissident leaders have been included in this panel.
Sonia Gandhi also reconstituted the Congress Working Committee and the Central Election Authority of the All India Congress Committee.
The letter by the 23 dissidents had led to an internal crisis in the Congress. It was signed by veteran politicians like Shashi Tharoor, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Prithviraj Chavan, Anand Sharma and Kapil Sibal. The leaders called for “collective leadership”, which was seen as a direct challenge to Sonia Gandhi’s authority over organisational matters. But nine expelled Congress leaders wrote to Gandhi earlier this month, asking her to “rise above the affinity for the family” and lead by establishing mutual trust and restoring the constitutional and democratic values.