Power games: Nitish grows restive for INDIA convenorship

All is not well in the opposition INDIA alliance. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar eyes the post of INDIA convenor.
Power games: Nitish grows restive for INDIA convenorship

Opposition Disunity
Nitish grows restive for INDIA convenorship

All is not well in the opposition INDIA alliance. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar eyes the post of INDIA convenor. The alliance meets in Mumbai on August 31, but there is no talk of appointing a convenor. Nitish was the first to bring the disparate opposition parties under one umbrella by meeting the leaders of different parties individually. He persuaded West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav to abandon the idea of a non-Congress front that Telangana chief minister and Bharat Rashtra Samithi chief K Chandrashekar Rao proposed. He also persuaded the Aam Aadmi Party to join the front that includes its arch-rival Congress.

Undoubtedly the key figure in forging opposition unity, Nitish expects to be rewarded for his efforts with the post of convenor. Sources said Nitish is exerting pressure on his Bihar allies, Lalu Yadav and son Tejashwi Yadav, to persuade the Congress leadership to decide on the issue. The Congress, however, is not keen on putting one leader above the rest. Congress, party sources said, prefers a situation where the leaders of every party feel that each may have a chance to occupy the top post in the event of INDIA’s victory in 2024. They said that parties would try and win the maximum possible seats to get a shot at the top job. But Nitish is not happy with this reasoning. The Bihar chief minister, who has followed a revolving door policy in his political alliances, is reportedly keeping all options open.

AICC Reconstitution
New Congress office-bearers likely next week

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge may end all speculations and announce his team of new office-bearers in the first week of September. Last week, he announced the new Congress Working Committee, the party’s highest decision-making body. Now, he has to appoint general secretaries, secretaries, and heads of departments and cells. Sources said the party has finalised the names. Most current general secretaries will likely be retained, though there may be a few fresh faces. Kharge’s decision to keep the present treasurer, Pawan Kumar Bansal, out of the CWC, comprising 39 members, has triggered speculation about the latter’s fate.

In the Congress organisational setup, the treasurer is the second-most important post after the president, and they nearly always find a place in the CWC. But not Bansal. He figures among the permanent invitees to the Working Committee. Congress circles are abuzz with talk of his imminent removal from the post. The successor’s names are already doing rounds. K C Venugopal, a close confidant of former president Rahul Gandhi, is likely to retain the post of general secretary (organization), considered the third most important post in the party. Intense lobbying is also on for the new post of general secretary in charge of election strategy and planning. The party has decided to create this department to oversee elections across the country. It will collect all election-related data, appoint booth committees and plan strategy for all state and national elections.

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