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Cong recast: Blend of experience and youth

Last updated on: July 17, 2004 14:58 IST

Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Saturday reconstituted the All India Congress Committee, blending experience with youth to give the party the impetus it needs to enter a challenging phase.

Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, party general-secretary Ambika Soni said the first-time MPs will have to work a little longer in the organisation before they get important posts.

The reconstituted Congress Working Committee has following as it members: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Kerala Chief Minister A K Antony, Ahmed Patel, Ambika Soni, Arjun Singh, Ashok Gehlot, Digvijay Singh, G Venkatswamy, K Natwar Singh, Makhan Lal Fotedar, Margaret Alva, Mohsina Kidwai, Motilal Vora, Mukul Wasnik, Pranab Mukherjee, Salman Khursheed, Shivraj  Patil, Satyavrat Chaturvedi and Vilasrao Deshmukh.

Sonia's Hindi speechwriter, Janardhan Dwivedi, is also now a CWC member.

Party veteran Motilal Vora has been retained as treasurer and three new general secretaries have been appointed -- Janardhan Dwivedi, Salman Khursheed and Satyavrat Chaturvedi.

Ambika Soni, Ashok Gehlot, Digvijay Singh, Margaret Alva and Mukul Wasnik have been retained as general secretaries.

Ahmed Patel has been retained as political secretary to the Congress chief, while Soni has retained charge of the Congress president's office.

Satyavrat Chaturvedi has been given charge of Uttar Pradesh and he faces a challenging task, given the fact that Sonia's son Rahul is already involved in reviving the organisation in the state.

Soni will look after Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh, while Ashok Gehlot will look after all frontal organisations of the party, including Seva Dal, Indian Youth Congress, Mahila Congress and the National Students Union of India.

Digvijay Singh will look after Andhra Pradesh, Assam and Orissa, while Mukul Wasnik will be in charge of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.

Khurshid gets charge of Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry, West  Bengal, Andaman and Nicobar.

Margaret Alva will look after Goa, Maharashtra, Daman & Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Lakshdweep.

Dwivedi has been given charge of Haryana and Chandigarh. He will also head the party's publicity division.

Pranab Mukherjee will look after Punjab. Vilasrao Deshmukh will look after Karnataka, while Harikesh Bahadur takes charge of Bihar and Jharkhand.

Ramesh Chennithala will take charge of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura.

Ahmed Patel will look after Kerala.

Tara Shankar Sahay in New Delhi
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