In a widely anticipated move, that had been hanging fire a while now, Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde -- also Leader of the House in the Lok Sabha -- was on Thursday made a permanent invitee to the Congress Working Committee (CWC).
“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,” party general secretary Janardan Dwivedi, in-charge of the organisation, said.
Interestingly, Shinde’s entry into the CWC coincides with the exit of senior party leader from Andhra Pradesh, K S Rao. “Sonia 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 added.
It is been quite surprising how it took Shinde, a senior leader holding the crucial Home portfolio, such an inordinately long time to make the cut when rank newcomers like movie star-turned-politico Raj Babbar -- an MP from UP-- had already made it to the all-powerful panel.
While Shinde was not a member of the CWC until now despite the fact that he was made Leader of the House in the Lok Sabha after Pranab Mukherjee became the President, Union Finance Minister P Chidambram has been a permanent invitee to the CWC for several years now.