Renu Mittal in New Delhi
Congress President Sonia Gandhi, who reconstituted the Congress Working Committee on Friday, recyclyed the the old faces without creating excitement. The move came as a ill-omen as veteran Congress leader Arjun Singh, who was dropped from the CWC, passed away later in the day.
Some of the new members are from states which were so far under represented in the CWC. Prominent amongst those who were dropped from the CWC are G Venkatswamy and Kishore Chandra Deo from Andhra Pradesh, Mallikarjun Kharge from Karnataka, Prithviraj Chavan from Maharashtra and V Narayanswamy from Puducherry. Mohsina Kidwai who was a CWC member has been made a permanent invitees.
Ghulam Nabi Azad is a rare exception of someone who is retained in the CWC in spite of being a Union minister.
The CWC has a total strength of 25, the Congress president has filled 19 slots leaving six vacanies.
Mukul Wasnik has been retained
Almost all the senior Congress leaders have been retained as well as a number of general secretaries. Those who continue in the CWC are Prime Minister DR Manmohan Singh, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Defence Minister A K Antony, Rahul Gandhi, Motilal Vora, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Digvijaya Singh, Janardan Dwivedi, Mukul Wasnik, BK Hariprasad, Ahmed Patel and Ambika Soni.
Moily, Vilasrao and Soz have been dropped
Amongst those who have been dropped from the list of permanent invitees to the CWC are Janardhana Reddy, C K Jaffer Sharief, K Keshava Rao, M Veerapa Moily, Satyavrat Chaturvedi, Saifuddin Soz and Vilasrao Deshmukh.
Those who have been nominated as permanent invitees are Mohsina Kidwai, P Chidambaram, S C Jamir, Shivajirao Deshmukh, Beni Prasad Verma, M V Rajashekharan, Shakeel Ahmed, Jagdish Tytler, Jagmeet Singh Brar, Mohan Prakash and Gulchain Singh Charak.
Oscar Fernandes has been promoted to the CWC
Amongst the special invitees, the Congress president has dropped Dr Ashok Kumar from Bihar while Jagmeet Singh Brar has been promoted to a permanent invitee.
Andhra has no representation in the CWC
G Sanjeeva Reddy and Anil Shastri have been retained as permanent invitees. The new entrants are Raj babbar, Nirmal Khatri and Mohinder Singh Kaypee.
The decision to give more place to UP leaders like Beni Prasad Verma, Nirmal khatri and Raj Babbar has been taken because of Rahul Gandhi's focus on UP.
What is striking is the number of leaders from Andhra Pradesh who have been dropped by the Congress president at a time when there is turmoil in the state with the leadership unable to come to grips with the situation.
Congress leaders have dubbed the CWC reshuffle as a virtual non exercise as it neither sets the agenda for the party nor does it give a new direction but has been undertaken because the Congress president was facing flak for not being able to reorganise her CWC, which had been dissolved at the time of the organisational elections.