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Rahul Gandhi made AICC general secretary

Last updated on: September 24, 2007 18:51 IST

Sources in the Congress on Monday hinted at a Cabinet reshuffle where young blood will be inducted and given more responsibilities.

Earlier, party general secretary Janardan Dwivedi announced the new set of office bearers.

Moti Lal Vora will now be in charge of administration as treasurer. Out of the 17 general secretaries, two were women:  Margaret Alva and Mohsina Kidwai.

While Alva was given charge of Maharashtra, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland, Kidwai has been put in charge of Kerala, Lakshadweep, West Bengal, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and the Mahila congress.

Minister of State in the PMO Prithviraj Chavan has been entrusted with activities in Karnaka, Jammu and Kashmir, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikim and Tripura.

Rahul Gandhi has been entrusted the task of looking after the youth Congress and the National Student Union of India. Digvijay Singh in addition to looking after Uttar Pradesh, will now also be in in charge of publicity.

When asked whether the Congress is going into election mode and if Rahul Gandhi is seen as the candidate to be the next prime minister, Dwivedi refused to comment.

Besides Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Rahul Gandhi has also been made member of the 23-member AICC. There are 12 permanent invitees and six special invitees.

According to sources, Dwividi had offered to opt out but his name was included in the list as the general secretary and AICC member. Salman Khursheed has been replaced by Rita Bahuguna as the UPCC president while Rajinder Kaur Bhattal has been made Punjab Congress committee chief.

Rahul, the 37-year-old MP from Amethi had announced in the party's plenary at Hyderabad last year that he was ready to play an active role in the organisation if the party leadership decides so.

There have been demands from party leaders, including other AICC general secretaries, that Rahul, who has been described as a future leader and potential prime minister, should be inducted into the organisation as general secretary to enthuse the party rank and file.

The secretariat-level changes in the AICC are being planned amidst the possibility of mid-term polls.

Though Rahul led the party campaign in the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections without much success, party leaders, including AICC general secretary Ashok Gehlot, have termed it as a blessing in disguise.

The refrain in the party is that the young leader has gone through the rough and tumble of a politically key state dominated by the politics of caste and community, that acted as a learning ground for him and could act as a springboard for his launch into national politics.

(With inputs from PTI)

Onkar Singh in New Delhi