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Homechevron_rightIndiachevron_rightCongress appoints new...

Congress appoints new state chiefs

Congress appoints new state chiefs

New Delhi: Congress on Monday effected an organisational reshuffle bringing in new faces in four states and a union territory, ahead of a possible elevation of the party's vice-president Rahul Gandhi as Congress chief.

With the new appointments approved by party president Sonia Gandhi, former union minister Ajay Maken has been brought in as party chief in Delhi, where the party failed to even open its account in the assembly polls held last month.

Former state minister Ghulam Ahmed Mir has been appointed party chief in Jammu and Kashmir and former union minister Bharatsinh Solanki made head of the party in Gujarat.

In Maharashtra, the party has replace Manikrao Thackeray with former chief minister Ashok Chavan.

Uttam Reddy, a former Andhra Pradesh minister, will head the party in Telangana. Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka, a legislator, has been appointed working president of the state unit.

Former Congress member of parliament Sanjay Nirupam has been made chief of the Mumbai regional Congress committee.

The changes are also being seen to have an imprint of Rahul Gandhi, who has been pushing for performance-oriented system in the party.

The young leader is on "leave" to reflect and chart a future course of action of the party. Speculations are rife in the party about his being elevated to the post of party chief in next month's session of All India Congress Committee.

Meanwhile, Maken's name had been doing the rounds for last few days for heading the party's Delhi unit.

Maken, who heads the communications department of the Congress at present, is credited with making the party more social-media savvy.

Though Maken was projected as the face of party's campaign in Delhi and lost even his own election from Sadar Bazar constituency, he is seen to be articulate and a organisational man with a grassroots connect.

The Congress had finished fourth in Jammu and Kashmir assembly elections in February and the change of guard in the state was seen as imminent. Mir has replaced Saffidun Soz as state unit chief in the state.

In Gujarat, the party had failed to open its account in the Lok Sabha polls last year and Solanki will have a hard task to revive the party's fortunes in the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In Maharashtra, Chavan replaced Manikrao Thakre, who headed the party for seven years and Nirupam took over from Dalit leader Janardhan Chandurkar, who headed the Mumbai Regional Congress Committee for two years.

The party is also keen to revive its support base in Telangana, which had been party's stronghold once.

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