New Delhi: A search has begun for a Congress general secretary in-charge of Punjab, a post which was relinquished by senior party leader Kamal Nath following a controversy over his alleged involvement in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. Another new AICC general secretary is needed to look after six northeastern states, a post lying vacant after V Narayansamy became the Chief Minister of Puducherry. At present party general secretary C P Joshi is looking after northeastern states as an additional charge. Joshi is in-charge of Bihar and West Bengal.
Party sources said in Punjab, which is going to polls in early 2017, the leadership could make a temporary appointment of an existing general secretary till a decision is taken on induction of new leaders in the AICC secretariat. Nath had relinquished the charge of Punjab as the ghost of anti-Sikh riots came back to haunt him, with his political rivals stepping up attack on the party over the appointment. Nath, as also the Congress, had refuted the allegations of his role in the incidents.
In Punjab, where the Congress has been out of power for nearly a decade now, it is looking for a leader not only with experience but also a deeper understanding of the state politics and senior enough to work with Capt Amarinder Singh, the face of the party in the polls. Search is also on for four PCC Chiefs including those for Bihar and Assam. The Congress high command has to find a new PCC Chief for Tamil Nadu with incumbent E V K S Elangovan tendering his resignation following the poor show of the party in the recent Assembly polls.
The talk in AICC is that Uttar Pradesh could have a new PCC chief, but incumbent Nirmal Khatri has denied reports. With Gurudas Kamat resuming the charge as Congress general secretary looking after Gujarat and Rajasthan, the party no longer has to search for another leader to handle these states. Earlier this month, Kamat had announced his decision to quit active politics for “personal reasons”. In Bihar, PCC chief Ashok Choudhary has now become a minister in the state cabinet and therefore will be replaced under the “one man-one post” rule. In Assam, party chief Anjan Dutta died recently after being unwell for a long time. PTI
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