Congress overhaul: Chidambaram, Gehlot, DK Shivakumar may get key posts

With Rahul refusing to take the mantle, Sonia Gandhi might continue as AICC president until the 2024 Lok Sabha polls

DK Shivakumar, Karnataka Assembly elections
A cold war is going on between former Chief Minister and current Opposition leader Siddaramaiah and KPCC president DK Shivakumar (in picture) in Karnataka

The Congress is all set for an organisational overhaul and there could be a few surprises in store.

The party, it is learnt, is planning to elevate Karnataka (state) president DK Shivakumar as All India Congress Committee (AICC) vice-president, paving the way for veteran leader Siddaramaiah as the chief ministerial candidate in the Assembly elections scheduled early next year.

According to sources, the shake-up comes after the Election Commission (EC) issued a notice to the party,  asking for reasons for the delay in submitting its new organisational make-up plans. AICC leader and chairman of the party’s central election authority Madhusudan Mistry will meet EC officials in New Delhi to explain what led to the delay.

He is expected to argue that both party president Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi have been busy dealing with the Enforcement Directorate (ED) summons in the National Herald case, and hence the delay. If the EC refuses to accept the party’s version, the party will convene a meeting of CWC shortly, it’s learnt.

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Sonia likely to continue as chief

Meanwhile, the leadership is mulling various permutations and combinations amid Rahul Gandhi’s continued reluctance to make himself available for the post of party president. It is likely that Sonia Gandhi will continue as AICC president until the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

In a surprise move, the party may make Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president DK Shivakumar one of the AICC vice-presidents, making it clear that Siddaramaiah is the chief ministerial candidate in the state Assembly elections scheduled next year.

Overall, the party is looking to have two more vice-presidents, with P Chidambaram looking after the party’s affairs in South and Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot handling North.

Sources also say the Congress Party’s organisational elections will be held between August 20 and the start of Rahul Gandhi’s massive Bharat Jodo Yatra on September 7.

While nominations will open on August 20, the last date of withdrawal will be September 3.  Elections will be held on September 5.

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