Major rejig in Cong ahead of 2024 LS polls; Priyanka removed as party's UP in-charge

Major rejig in Cong ahead of 2024 LS polls; Priyanka removed as party's UP in-charge

New Delhi: Protest Of Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) At Jantar Mantar

New Delhi, Dec 23 (IANS) In a major rejig ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, the Congress on Saturday removed Priyanka Gandhi Vadra as the party in-charge in Uttar Pradesh as it announced key organisational changes just two days after the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting.

Priyanka Gandhi, however, will continue to be the party's general secretary without any assigned portfolio, the Congress said in a statement.

The Congress has appointed former Rajasthan deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot in-charge of Chhattisgarh Congress, while senior party leader from Kerala, Ramesh Chennithala was named in-charge of Maharashtra.

Priyanka Gandhi had earlier this year resigned as the in-charge of Uttar Pradesh Congress. However, the party had maintained silence on the issue.

Priyanka Gandhi has been replaced by Avinash Pande, who will now be the party in-charge of Uttar Pradesh.

The key appointments were announced just two days after a meeting of the CWC, which was chaired by Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and attended by senior leaders, including Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. Meanwhile, senior party leaders Jairam Ramesh, KC Venugopal and others.

Mukul Wasnik and Randeep Singh Surjewala remain the general secretaries in-charge of communication, organisation, Gujarat and Karnataka, respectively.

Jitendra Singh, who is the general secretary in-charge of Assam, was given the additional charge of Madhya Pradesh, while Deepak Babaria holds the charge of Delhi and the additional charge of Haryana, the statement said.

Party leaders said that the move to relieve Priyanka Gandhi of her responsibilities in Uttar Pradesh comes amid speculations that the opposition bloc INDIA may field a strong candidate against Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Varanasi in the general election.

During the INDIA bloc meeting, some leaders had suggested fielding Priyanka Gandhi against PM Modi.

Even in 2019, a similar demand had gained momentum.

The party also named Deepa Dasmunshi as the incharge of Kerala, Lakshadweep and additional charge of Telanagna, while Kumari Selja who was incharge of Chhattisgarh has been given the charge of Uttarakhand.

Meanwhile, Ajoy Kumar has been tasked with the role of in-charge of Odisha, and given additional charge of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.

The party has made Mohan Prakash the in-charge of Bihar, while Manikrao Thakare who was in-charge of Telangana, has now been given the charge of Goa, Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli.

The party has also replaced Goa in-charge Manickam Tagore by giving him charge of Andhra Pradesh and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

The party has named Devender Yadav as in-charge of Punjab, while Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa has been retained as the in-charge of Rajasthan.

The party also replaced Rajni Patil as Jammu and Kashmir in-charge with Bharatsinh Solanki.

Even Rajeev Shukla has been retained as in-charge of Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh.

The party has named A. Chellakumar as in-charge of Meghalaya, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh.

The Congress president also appointed Syed Naseer Hussain, MP, CWC Member, as In-Charge of Congress President's Office, and Pranav Jha as AICC Secretary, attached to Congress President's Office, In-charge of Communication with immediate effect.

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