Congress Makeover Likely Before Diwali
New Delhi: A day after the new-look Manmohan Singh cabinet unfolded, the much-awaited Congress reshuffle is likely to happen before Diwali, which falls on Nov 13, party sources said Monday.
Congress sources indicated that the reshuffle may see party general secretary Rahul Gandhi take on a more prominent role assuming the post of vice president or working president. “The hurdle of cabinet reshuffle is over. An AICC (All India Congress Committee) makeover could either happen in the next few days or after Nov 4,” a Congress Working Committee member said.
Nov 4 is crucial as the Congress has planned a big rally in Delhi, which will be addressed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi.
Besides AICC leaders, central ministers, chief ministers, members of parliament and state unit chiefs are expected to attend the rally in a show of strength.
While Rahul Gandhi is believed to have played a key role in finalising the list of 22 ministers, who were sworn in Sunday, he is expected to give important roles to his close aides, including party MPs Ashok Tanwar, Meenakshi Natrajan and Manicka Tagore.
Rahul Gandhi’s imprint was clearly visible in the cabinet rejig in which Jyotiraditya Scindia, Sachin Pilot, Jitendra Singh and Manish Tewari were given independent charges of ministries.
Congress sources said new faces in important organisational positions would convey the message that the party is prepared to face future challenges.
While former external affairs minister S.M. Krishna is set to play an important role in Karnataka, which will have assembly elections in May 2013, former information and broadcasting minister Ambika Soni is expected to be drafted for party work.
According to party sources, the blueprint for the AICC reshuffle has been prepared. Sonia Gandhi will decide when to announce it, said the sources. “The AICC reshuffle has to match the scale of the cabinet reshuffle,” a Congress leader, refusing to be named said.
The AICC reshuffle is expected to ready a team which will take on the challenges of nine assembly elections in 2013, culminating in the big electoral battle of the 2014 general elections.
However, a section of the Congress leaders said given the political situation in the country, the party should be ready for the Lok Sabha polls next year as well.
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