New Delhi, Sep 15: Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday kickstarted the planning for next year's Lok Sabha polls and the upcoming state elections and announced the names of the chairmen and convenors of the party's core committee, manifesto committee and publicity committee.
While former defence minister A K Antony will head the core committee, ex-finance minister P Chidambaram has been appointed the chairman of the manifesto committee.
Another former Union minister, Anand Sharma, will head the publicity committee of the party. Another former Union minister, Jairam Ramesh, will be the convenor for the all-important core committee, which will be the overarching body to strategise and coordinate the work of the party for the 2019 general elections.
Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Gowda, who is also the head of the party's research department, will be the convenor of the manifesto committee, All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary (organisation) Ashok Gehlot said.
Pawan Khera, a close aide of former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dixit, will be the convenor of the party's publicity committee.
Confirming these developments to PTI, Gehlot said, "The Congress president held meetings of all these committees and reviewed the work for the upcoming elections."
Congress sources said all the committees were asked to hold consultations and speed up the work so that the strategy of the party for the polls was put in place soon. Gehlot said Gandhi also reviewed the party's preparations for the upcoming Assembly elections in the key states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Mizoram.
Last month, the party had formed the three crucial committees to look after coordination, manifesto and publicity in the polls. Gandhi had formed the key nine-member Core Group Committee comprising Antony, Chidambaram, Gehlot, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mallikarjun Kharge, Ahmed Patel, Jairam Ramesh, Randeep Surjewala and K C Venugopal.