Arjun Singh, 6 others dropped from CWC

Arjun Singh
New Delhi, Mar 4: The much-awaited reshuffle of the Congress hierarchy, which took place today, saw the exit of veteran Arjun Singh and six others from the Congress Working Committee (CWC) and two general secretaries Mohsina Kidwai and V Narayanswami, who was recently made Minister of State in PMO.

Despite much talk, the party has not adhered strictly to the ''one man-one post'' norm with Union Ministers Ghulam Nabi Azad and Mukul Wasnik retained as general secretaries.

Azad is looking after poll-bound Tamil Nadu and now has also been made in-charge of Andhra Pradesh, where party is grappling with a number of issues including the separate statehood for Telangana.

Wasnik, who was in-charge of Bihar, where the party met a crushing defeat in the Assembly polls in November, will now look after only Rajasthan.

G Venkatswami, a senior leader from Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh, who attacked her recently, is also out of the CWC.

The exercise coming three months after the authorisation given to her also saw the exit of CWC member K Keshava Rao who was in-charge of poll-bound West Bengal as also Jharkhand.

Others who have not been renominated to the CWC are Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, Union Ministers Mallikarjun Kharge, V Narayansami and senior MP Kishore Chandra Deo.

Those retained in the CWC besides Rahul Gandhi are senior ministers Pranab Mukherjee, A K Antony, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ambika Soni and senior leaders Motilal Vora, Digvijay Singh, Janardan Dwivedi.

Oscar Fernandes has been promoted to CWC, the highest policy-making body of the party, and made a general secretary. Home Minister P Chidambaram, who is a member of the elite Core Group, has been made a Permanent Invitee for the CWC.

Senior leader Ahmed Patel, who retains his position as political secretary to Congress President, will continue to be part of the CWC, which will now have 19 members including Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Dropped from the CWC, Arjun Singh and Mohsina Kidwai have been made permanent invitees of the body. Satyavrat Chaturvedi, who is often at the centre of controversies because of statements against allies, has been removed as a permanent invitee.

Besides the incumbents, Rahul Gandhi, Digvijay Singh, B K Hariprasad, Azad, Janardan Dwivedi and Mukul Wasnik, the new general secretaries are Birender Singh, Madhusudan Mistry and Fernandes.

Andhra Pradesh, which has sent the largest number of Congress MPs in two successive elections, does not find a place in the reconstituted CWC.


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