Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Friday effected a major reshuffle in the party, dropping Ghulam Nabi Azad from the post of general secretary and handing a a double promotion to former minister Tariq Anwar. Azad was the senior-most leader among the group of 23 that had written a letter to Gandhi seeking organisational reforms in the party.
Anwar, along with Sharad Pawar and PA Sangma, had quit the Congress to float the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). However, he later returned to the Congress fold just ahead of the Lok Sabha polls last year. Anwar has been made both general secretary in-charge of poll-bound Kerala and a member of the Congress Working Committee (CWC).
Only a single member of the dissident camp -- Mukul Wasnik -- has been accommodated in the six-member committee that will aid the Congress president in running the affairs of the party. The other members include family loyalists AK Anthony, Ahmed Patel, Ambika Soni, KC Venugopal and Randeep Singh Surjewala.
Some of the key Rahul Gandhi aides and loyalist, such as Venugopal and Surjewala, have been nominated to all key committees.
The reshuffle comes in the wake of a section of party leaders writing to Sonia Gandhi seeking organisational reforms in the Congress. The signatories to the missive came in for some sharp criticism at the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting held recently.
Sonia Gandhi also reconstituted the party's Central Election Authority and appointed general secretaries and state in-charges of the All India Congress Committee (AICC).
Jitin Prasad has been made in-charge of the party in poll-bound West Bengal. Madhusudan Mistry, Rajesh Mishra, Krishna Byre Gowda, S Jothimani and Avinder Singh Lovely were appointed members of the Central Election Authority.
Surjewala, Jitendra Singh and Ajay Maken have been appointed as new general secretaries for Karnataka, Assam and Rajasthan, respectively.