Rahul’s new team in place

Ending suspense regarding his new team, Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi has finally chosen AICC secretaries Meenakshi Natarajan and Bhanwar Jitendra Singh to assist him. Both the secretaries are in their thirties. So far, Rahul was dependent on a one-man team — Kanishka Singh, son of Rajasthan Governor S K Singh. While induction of Meenakshi Natarajan, former national president of the NSUI, in Rahul's team was in the offing, Bhanwar Jitendra Singh's entry came as a surprise to many.

Singh, a protégé of former Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot, is from the erstwhile royal family of Alwar and represents the constituency in the state Assembly. He was appointed AICC Secretary in an organisational reshuffle last September and his induction as an AICC office-bearer had come in the backdrop of former External Affairs Minister Natwar Singh's ouster from the Government and the party in the wake of UN oil-for-food scandal in Iraq. Natarajan was also appointed AICC Secretary last September. While AICC General Secretary Mukul Wasnik was said to be instrumental in shaping her political career, she also enjoyed the confidence of former MP Chief Minister Digvijay Singh.

Last month, AICC General Secretary Janardan Dwivedi had distributed portfolios to 30 out of 34 AICC secretaries, attaching them with AICC general secretaries. No secretaries were attached with Rahul, as he was in favour of working "independently". However, he changed his mind later, as he was unable to devote much time to the Youth Congress and the NSUI because of his engagements as a national leader.

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