Congress Names New PCC Chiefs in WB, Haryana, Kerala - The New Indian Express

Congress Names New PCC Chiefs in WB, Haryana, Kerala

Published: 10th February 2014 03:48 PM

Last Updated: 10th February 2014 03:48 PM

Union Minister Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, a known detractor of Mamata Banerjee, young dalit MP Ashok Tanwar and senior leader V M Sudheeran were today made PCC chiefs in West Bengal, Haryana and Kerala respectively.

AICC Secretary and young leader V D Satheeshan has been appointed Vice President of the party in Kerala, Congress General Secretary Janardan Dwivedi said.

The appointments signalled Rahul Gandhi's efforts to make the party battle-ready ahead of Lok Sabha polls. They come close on the heels of young leaders Sachin Pilot and Arun Yadav being made heads of the party units in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh respectively.

Chowdhury, who is Minister of State for Railways, replaces Pradip Bhattacharya, MP, who was the acting WBPCC chief.

Tanwar succeeds Phulchand Mulana, also a dalit and a close associate of Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda.

Sudheeran, who is widely respected in Kerala politics, comes in place of Ramesh Chennithala who has been made the Home Minister in the state.

Satheeshan, a close associate of Rahul Gandhi, who is known for his clean image and for taking up green causes, has been made Vice President of Kerala PCC.

Sudheeran's appointment is significant in view of the fact that Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy as also Chennithala were pressing the case of G Karthikeyan, who is now the Assembly Speaker.

The existing office bearers of the Kerala PCC will continue under Sudheeran.

Senior leader A K Antony, who is a former Kerala Chief Minister, appears to have backed Sudheeran.

Tanwar's appointment as PCC chief comes virtually as a birthday gift. He will turn 38 on Wednesday. He is a former chief of the Youth Congress and NSUI.

A member of Lok Sabha from Sirsa (SC) seat, Tanwar is a known Rahul Gandhi loyalist. Though his name as PCC chief was doing rounds for some time, it was being opposed by factions within the party.

Tanwar's appointment follows former Union Minister Selja's nomination to Rajya Sabha which was seen as a setback for Hooda, who wanted state Congress President Phool Chand Mullana or incumbent MP Ram Prakash to take Haryana's lone Upper House berth.

57-year-old Chowdhury's appointnment as West Bengal PCC chief is signal that Congress will be going it alone in the Mamata Banerjee-ruled state. The Minister of State for Railways is a Lok Sabha member from Murshidabad.

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