Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde was on Thursday made a permanent invitee to the Congress Working Committee, the highest decision-making body of the party.
Shinde is the Leader of the Lok Sabha as well as a member of the Congress Core Group, an interface between the party and the government dealing with crucial issues. He was not a member of the all-important CWC till now, while Finance Minister P Chidambaram, who is also a member of the Congress Core Group, has been a permanent invitee to CWC for several years.
Shinde's entry into CWC coincides with the exit of senior party leader K S Rao who was recently made a minister.
"Congress President Sonia Gandhi has nominated Sushilkumar Shinde, Leader of the Lok Sabha, as a permanent invitee to the Congress Working Committee with immediate effect," said Congress General Secretary Janardan Dwivedi, who is also in-charge of the organisation.
Gandhi "has accepted the request of K S Rao for being relieved as permanent invitee to the Congress Working Committee on his being included in the central council of ministers," he said.
Party leader Birender Singh was made a member of CWC recently after he was moved out from the post of general secretary. Vilas Muttemwar, who was also removed as general secretary in the recent All India Congress Committee reshuffle, was made a permanent invitee to CWC.
The CWC, headed by the Congress president, has 20 members besides 15 permanent invitees and 5 special invitees.