State Congress leaders may get key posts


Party sources say Mallikarjun Kharge is likely to be Leader of the Opposition in RS.

In a move to strengthen the party organisation, the Congress high command has proposed to rope in more leaders from Karnataka to the mainstream of the party affairs.

Sources in the party said veteran leader and former Union Minister Mallikarjun Kharge is likely to replace another veteran leader Ghulam Nabi Azad as the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha. The Congress is keen to utilise his vast experience in the parliamentary affairs for the benefit of the party. MMr. Kharge has been dropped from the post of the party general secretary in-charge of Maharashtra with an intention of giving him the post of the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, sources said. Mr. Kharge, who has served as leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha during 2014-19, was party loyalist and has blessings of party interim president Sonia Gandhi. He has been unanimously elected to Rajya Sabha from Karnataka.

The high command is also expected to appoint Rajya Sabha members G.C. Chandrashekar, Syed Naseer Hussain, MLA Arshad Rizwan, and party leader Nivedita Alva as AICC secretaries, sources said. Mr. Alva, son of veteran Congress leader Margaret Alva, who had been denied ticket in the elections to the Legislative Council, was likely to be placated by roping him to party organisation.

Major rejig

In a major rejig to the party organisation on Friday, former Minister and MLA Dinesh Gundu Rao has been appointed as general secretary in-charge of Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Goa, while former Minister and MLA H.K. Patil has been given the charge of Maharashtra. Mr. Patil replaced Mr. Kharge.

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Mr. Kharge has been made member of the Congress Working Committee (CWC). Mr. Gundu Rao, who served as KPCC president, has been given the charge of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry since he speaks fluent Tamil.

Randeep Surjewala, one of the closest aides of former party president Rahul Gandhi, has been appointed as general secretary of Karnataka. He replaced K.C. Venugopal, who is now general secretary, organisation.

MP Jairam Ramesh, former MP K.H. Muniyappa, Mr. Gundu Rao, and Mr. Patil are also permanent invitees to the CWC. Former Minister and MLA Krishna Byre Gowda has been named as a member of the Central Election Authority of the party.

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Sagar Biswas

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