Day after meeting rebels, Congress begins reshuffle in four states

Three AICC secretaries have been appointed by Sonia Gandhi each for poll-bound Assam and Kerala

Even though Sonia, Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi have refused to run for president, they may field a candidate of their choice in the election | File Photo: PTI

A day after the Gandhis met Congress rebels who had called for changes in the party’s organisational structure, the party has begun an overhaul in its leadership in four states – Telangana, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.

Two state unit chiefs – Uttar Kumar Reddy (Telangana) and Amit Chavada (Gujarat) – of the Congress have so far quit their posts following their poor performances in the recent Hyderabad local body polls and Gujarat bypolls.

Three All-India Congress Committee (AICC) secretaries have been appointed by Mrs. Sonia Gandhi each for Assam and Kerala, who will be assisting the general secretaries in-charge of these states for their upcoming state assembly next year.

Kamal Nath, former chief minister of Madhya Pradesh and state party chief, has reportedly played an important role in making the top leadership meet the 23 rebels who had triggered an apparent in-party crisis by writing to the Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi in August with several demands.


Related news | Gandhis begin talks with Congress ‘rebels’ seeking reforms in party

Their demands included a full-time, visible president and overhauling of the organisational structure including polls to the Congress Working Committee and reconstitution of the Parliamentary board. These rebels included senior Congress leaders like Ghulam Nabi Azad and Shashi Tharoor.

Saturday’s meeting saw participation of Sonia Gandhi, former party chief Rahul Gandhi and leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, and both their aides and letter-writers. Kamal Nath, Tharoor, Azad were among those present at the meeting besides former minister P Chidambaram.

The meeting was the first in a series of such discussions scheduled over the next 10 days during which it is expected that the Congress leadership will hear out the concerns of the rebel leaders and address them.

At the meeting, Rahul Gandhi reportedly said he’s ready to work for the party as all desire, which is being seen as a hint that he’ll return as the party chief. Earlier, party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala had said “99.9 per cent” leaders wanted Rahul Gandhi to become party chief.

Meanwhile, on Saturday, the party also made changes in Mumbai Regional Congress Committee.