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Ajay Kumar Lallu named new UP Congress chief


New Delhi: Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi on Monday appointed Ajay Kumar Lallu as the new Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) chief.

The appointment of Lallu came on the recommendation of Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi, who announced the party's new Uttar Pradesh team on Monday.

The new team has no big names but the Congress has tried to balance social equations among the office bearers, comprising four Vice Presidents, 12 General Secretaries and 24 Secretaries.

Lallu, an MLA from Tamkuhiraj in eastern UP, is from the backward Vaishya community.

Congress spokesperson Rajiv Tyagi is one of the General Secretaries.

Aradhna Mishra has been named the new leader of the Congress Legislative Party. A second term MLA from Rampur Khas, she is the daughter of veteran leader Pramod Tiwari.

The new appointments may upset senior leaders as many were expecting a larger role.

However, to placate them, Priyanka Gandhi has also set up an 18-member advisory council, whose members include senior leaders like Salman Khurshid, Rashid Alvi and Tiwari.

She has also constituted an eight-member planning group, which has former Union Minister Jitin Prasad in it.

This new team is not a jumbo body but a smaller unit with a task to accomplish. A close aide to Priyanka Gandhi said that those with grass roots connections and zeal to go out at the ground level have been given responsibility.

The whole exercise for picking the new team has been going on since the Lok Sabha debacle, when the Congress won just one seat in the state, losing even the party bastion, Amethi, which was held by then party chief Rahul Gandhi.



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