Congress Readies for Lok Sabha Fight: New Guard Takes Charge, UP in Focus, Priyanka’s Path Unclear
Congress revamps leadership ahead of Lok Sabha polls: Pilot takes charge of Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh handed to Pande
New Delhi, December 23, 2023: In a major shake-up aimed at galvanizing its campaign for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, the Congress party has announced a significant organizational reshuffle. Key changes include assigning prominent roles to young leader Sachin Pilot and veteran Avinash Pande, while Priyanka Gandhi’s absence from the list has sparked speculation.
Pilot steers Chhattisgarh, Pande takes over UP: Sachin Pilot, a rising star within the party, has been appointed General Secretary in charge of Chhattisgarh, a crucial state in the central region. This move signals the party’s confidence in Pilot’s leadership abilities and his potential to turn the tide in the state.
Congress Leadership Reshuffle: State Allocations (December 23, 2023)
|General Secretary (Chhattisgarh)
|General Secretary (Uttar Pradesh)
|General Secretary (Gujarat)
|General Secretary (Karnataka)
|General Secretary (Communication)
|General Secretary (Organization)
|State In-charge (Jharkhand, West Bengal)
|Jharkhand, West Bengal
|State In-charge (Kerala, Lakshadweep, Telangana)
|Kerala, Lakshadweep, Telangana
|State In-charge (Maharashtra)
|State In-charge (Bihar)
|State In-charge (Meghalaya, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh)
|Meghalaya, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh
|State In-charge (Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry)
|Dr. Ajoy Kumar
|Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry
|State In-charge (Jammu and Kashmir)
|Jammu and Kashmir
|State In-charge (Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh)
|Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh
|State In-charge (Rajasthan)
|Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa
|State In-charge (Punjab)
|State In-charge (Goa, Daman and Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli)
|Goa, Daman and Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli
|State In-charge (Tripura, Sikkim, Manipur, Nagaland)
|Tripura, Sikkim, Manipur, Nagaland
|State In-charge (Andhra Pradesh, Andaman and Nicobar)
|Andhra Pradesh, Andaman and Nicobar
Pande replaces Priyanka in crucial UP: Taking over the mantle of Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state, is seasoned politician Avinash Pande. Pande’s experience and organizational skills will be crucial in navigating the complex political landscape of UP, where the Congress hopes to make significant gains.
Other key appointments: The reshuffle also saw the reallocation of responsibilities among other senior leaders. Mukul Wasnik takes charge of Gujarat, Randeep Surjewala oversees Karnataka, and Jairam Ramesh handles communication. KC Venugopal continues as General Secretary (Organization), while Ajay Maken remains the treasurer.
State in-charges announced: Alongside the General Secretaries, the party appointed 11 state in-charges, strategizing for various regions across the country. This includes assigning Jharkhand and West Bengal to GS Mir, Kerala and Lakshadweep to Deepa Dasmunshi, and Bihar to Mohan Prakash.
Revamping for revival: The leadership reshuffle comes weeks after the party’s disappointing performance in four of the five recent state assembly elections. This move is seen as a desperate attempt to revive the Congress’s fortunes and strengthen its position for the crucial Lok Sabha polls due in May 2024.
Focus on ground game: Apart from organizational changes, the party is also planning several initiatives to bolster its grass-root presence. This includes a second edition of the “Bharat Jodo Yatra,” a mass outreach program that aims to connect with voters across the country.
Speculation surrounding Priyanka: Notably, Priyanka Gandhi, a key figure in the party’s previous campaign, is not assigned any state in the current reshuffle. This has fueled speculation about her future role and whether she will play a central part in the Lok Sabha campaign.
The Congress leadership revamp signals a renewed focus on organization, strategy, and ground-level mobilization as the party prepares for the ultimate electoral test in 2024.