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Government in place, Congress in for revamp soon

Source: PTI
May 29, 2009 19:15 IST
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After completion of government-formation and distribution of portfolios, the Congress will soon embark on a change in its organisation and a reshuffle in work allocation in the AICC amidst indications  'one-person-one-post' formula would be followed in the exercise.

"Changes will be brought in the organisation soon," AICC media department chief Janardan Dwivedi said.

Dwivedi parried questions on how soon the reshuffle would take place. Asked whether those inducted in the government from the AICC will be relieved of party work, Dwivedi said, "This cannot be said with certainty. But there will be effort made to see that those who work in the government concentrate on it and those who work in the party do organisational work."

To a query about the priority of the party following the victory in Lok Sabha elections, Dwivedi said the organisation would be streamlined, membership drive will be launched and organisation elections will be completed by December 2010.

Four AICC general secretaries were inducted in the Manmohan Singh Cabinet. While Ghulam Nabi Azad and Mukul Wasnik were inducted as cabinet ministers, Prithviraj Chavan was inducted as Minister of State with Independent charge and V Narayanasami as Minister of state.

Azad remains the party in-charge of states like Tamil Nadu and Orissa even after he was made the Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare. Wasnik, the Dalit leader from Maharashtra, is the Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment even as he is the AICC General Secretary in-charge of Rajasthan and Delhi. Similarly Chavan, who has been elevated from being a Minister of state to a MoS with independent charge, is handling the PMO, Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Personnel and Parliamentary Affairs.

He also remains the party in-charge of Haryana and Jammu and Kashmir. Narayanasami, the party leader from Puducherry, was in-charge of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh before he went to contest the Lok Sabha elections. He has now been inducted as MoS for Planning and Parliamentary Affairs. Both Chavan and Narayanasami held dual positions in the previous regime.

They were AICC general secretaries and also MoS at the same time. Certain other changes are also being talked about in the AICC about the work allocation of some of the Cabinet ministers in the party. Defence Minister A K Antony was given charge of Maharashtra after Margaret Alva resigned as AICC General Secretary last year. He remains the in-charge of the crucial state where the party is in alliance with NCP.

Similarly, External Affair Minister Pranab Mukherjee was made president of the West Bengal PCC last year and still holds his position in the government.

Another PCC chief who has been inducted in the Cabinet is C P Joshi as Union Minister for Rural Development. Joshi still holds the post of the president of the Rajasthan Congress and was instrumental in the victory of the party in the Assembly elections last year. Apart from those who are holding dual positions in the party and the government, M Veerappa Moily, the new Law Minister is the party in-charge of Andhra Pradesh and Assam.

He was also the chief of the party's media department before he went to contest the Lok Sabha elections from Karnataka.

Party sources maintained that all efforts will be made to stick to the 'one person one post' formula. If it is adopted, then all ministers could be divested of their party work. Sources said the new look AICC will be a mix of "youth and experience" like the Manmohan Singh's Cabinet.

Oscar Fernandes, who could not find a place in the Cabinet, is tipped as the new General Secretary along with some others.

Sources refused to divulge how many general secretaries the party would have after the reshuffle but said the focus would now shift to the party following the completion of the government formation exercise.

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