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Rahul Gandhi Puts Faith in Congress Old Guard for 2019, Retains Team Sonia Along With Two of His Men

Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala and Kerala MP KC Venugopal have also made it to the core committee for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, along with party veterans such as Ashok Gehlot and Ghulam Nabi Azad.

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Updated:August 25, 2018, 6:14 PM IST
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Rahul Gandhi Puts Faith in Congress Old Guard for 2019, Retains Team Sonia Along With Two of His Men
Congress President Rahul Gandhi with Sonia Gandhi, Ghulam Nabi Azad, AK Antony and others in New Delhi. (PTI Photo)
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New Delhi: Gearing up for the 2019 battle, Congress President Rahul Gandhi seems to have rested his trust with the old guards of the party, including AK Antony, Ghulam Nabi Azad and five other veteran partymen along with two of his trusted aides.

Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala and Kerala MP KC Venugopal have also made it to the core committee for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

The nine-member core committee includes several of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi’s trusted men — Ashok Gehlot, AK Antony, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mallikarjun Kharge, Ahmed Patel and Jairam Ramesh.

The party that has kept its options of forming alliances with other opposition parties open for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, looks at the seniors to stitch these crucial ties with veterans of regional parties like Mamata Banerjee and Sharad Pawar, who share a comfortable rapport with Sonia Gandhi and her aides as compared to Rahul Gandhi.

The Congress party has also announced two other crucial committees for the general elections, the 19-member manifesto committee and 13-member publicity committee, which further accommodates other top leaders of the party.

Sources said that convenors of these panels will be announced later.

Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram is part of both the Core Group Committee and Manifesto Committee, along with Jairam Ramesh.

The 19-member Manifesto Committee comprises veterans like former finance minister P Chidambaram, former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, former union ministers Jairam Ramesh, Salman Khurshid, Shashi Tharoor and Kumari Selja, besides former Meghalaya chief minister Mukul Sangma.

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala, Punjab finance minister Manpreet Badal, party's women's wing head Sushmita Dev, party Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Gowda and Tamradhwaj Sahu, who is also the party's Backward class department chief, are also part of the panel.

The others are Bindu Krishnan, Raghuveer Meena, Bhalchandra Mungekar, Meenakshi Natarajan, Rajni Patil, Sam Pitroda, Sachin Rao and Lalithesh Tripathi.

The Publicity Committee includes Randeep Surjewala, former ministers Anand Sharma, Manish Tewari and Rajeev Shukla, besides Bhakta Charan Das, Praveen Chakravarty, Milind Deora, Kumar Ketkar, Pawan Khera, VD Satheesan, Jaiveer Shergill, party's social media head Divya Spandana and former Rajya Sabha member Pramod Tiwari.

Announcing the setting up of the committees, Gehlot said with the constitution of the committees, the party will go into election mode and start the work of putting up a manifesto and draw strategy for publicity and coordination.
| Edited by: Sanchari Chatterjee
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