Sachin Pilot has been appointed Congress General Secretary in-charge of Chhattisgarh today as the party continues its organisational overhaul with an eye on the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has been replaced as the party’s Uttar Pradesh in charge.
She continues to be the party’s General Secretary “without any assigned portfolio”, the party said in a statement. Avinash Pandey has replaced her in the state.
Sachin Pilot’s appointment is being seen as a move to pacify the leader, who has been seeking a greater role in the party. Mr Pilot’s dissatisfaction with the party’s Rajasthan leadership almost cost Congress the desert state mid-term in 2020, when the disgruntled leader, then the Deputy Chief Minister, led a coup against Ashok Gehlot.
After days of stalemate during which Mr Pilot moved to a resort in Haryana with his loyal MLAs, the Congress leadership managed to placate him. Rahul Gandhi and his sister Priyanka assured Mr Pilot his grievances will be addressed.
As the Congress somehow managed to hold onto power in Rajasthan, the rift between Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot widened. Despite the party’s efforts to put up a united front, it failed to retain Rajasthan this year.
The party, following an abysmal show in three heartland states, retained the chiefs of Rajasthan and Chhatisgarh. However, in Madhya Pradesh, former Chief Minister Kamal Nath was replaced as the Congress’ state unit chief with OBC leader Jitu Patwari.
In addition, Mukul Wasnik has been assigned Gujarat, Jitendra Singh Assam with the additional charge of Madhya Pradesh, Randeep Surjewala Karnataka, Kumari Selja Uttarakhand, while Deepa Dasmunshi got Kerala, Lakshadweep, and the additional charge of Telangana.
In Bihar, the party has appointed Mohan Prakash as the state in-charge. Mr Prakash has close ties with both Lalu Yadav and Nitish Kumar. He is a socialist who has been a part of Janata Dal.
The appointments come two days after a meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC), the party’s highest decision-making body, chaired by party chief Mallikarjun Kharge. It was attended by senior leaders, including Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.