Azad Removed As Congress General Secretary

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Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad – File Pic

New Delhi: Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and veteran Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Friday was removed by the party from the post of General Secretary.

Besides Azad, senior leaders Motilal Vora, Ambika Soni, Mallikarjun Kharge and Luizinho Falerio from their posts as General Secretaries in a major organizational reshuffle by the party, NDTV reported Friday.

“The party whole-heartedly appreciates the contributions of outgoing General Secretaries Ghulam Nabi Azad, Motial Vora, Ambika Soni, Mallikarjun Kharge and Luizinho Faleiro,” said a letter signed off by Sonia Gandhi.

Azad and Soni, however, continue in the reconstituted working committee.

The report further says that the reshuffle comes a month after a group of 23 party leaders, in a stunning act of revolt, wrote a letter to Sonia Gandhi calling for an overhaul of the party, internal elections and a “full-time, visible leadership”. The letter also suggested that the Gandhi family would always be a part of collective decision-making.

In a token move, the report says another leader who was among the 23 letter-writers, Mukul Wasnik, has been made a general secretary in charge of Madhya Pradesh.

The report said that Mukul Wasnik has also been named among the six leaders who are to “assist the Congress president in organizational and operational matters as expressed by her in the CWC meeting on August 24”. The others are AK Antony, Ahmed Patel, Ambika Soni, KC Venugopal and Randeep Singh Surjwala.

According to the report, Randeep Singh Surjewala is among the biggest gainers of the shuffle. He has been named general secretary in charge of Karnataka, he is in the special committee and continues as chief spokesperson.

“The dissent letter was seen to be a veiled attack on the Gandhis, especially Rahul Gandhi, who quit as president last year over the Congress’s election defeat. Over the past few months, the Congress has been sharply divided with the veterans ranged against what is known to be Rahul Gandhi’s core group, which is rooting for his return to the top job,” the report added.

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