Old faces, new duties in Rahul Gandhi's plan for party

Rahul Gandhi

Newly appointed Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi is likely to adopt a "gradual and incremental" approach in implementing his 'vision' for the party and will largely retain his mother and Congress president Sonia Gandhi's core team to deliver results in ensuing Assembly and Parliamentary elections.

"He will retain more or less the same faces but with new ideas. He will effect the changes gradually and incrementally," a senior Congress leader told The Indian Express Tuesday.

To start with, the role of AICC secretaries who are currently attached with general secretaries may be re-defined with specific job descriptions, said sources. They said Rahul's priority is to revamp Pradesh Congress Committees in states.

In an indication that the much-anticipated organisational reshuffle could be more about changes in portfolios than in faces, AICC general secretary Mukul Wasnik has now been given charge of Meghalaya, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh. AICC in-charge of Meghalaya D R Shandil, who was recently appointed a minister in Virbhadra Singh government in Himachal Pradesh, has been divested of his organisational responsibility. Senior party leader Ambika Soni, who had resigned from the Union Cabinet to work for the organisation, is tipped to be given an important position in the party.

During Rahul's deliberations with office-bearers, some senior leaders had exhorted him to take a quick decision about organisational reshuffle as there was "asmanjas (state of confusion)" in the party. Sources said while some non-performing office-bearers will be dropped, the reshuffle will not involve drastic overhaul.

Since his elevation to No 2 position in the Congress on January 19, Rahul has spent around eight hours with party office-bearers, including seven hours stretched over three days since last Thursday. While they came up with a range of suggestions to strengthen the organisation, sources said the main objective of the exercise was to reach out to senior party leaders to allay apprehension about their future roles.

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