Arjun Singh, 6 others dropped from CWC

New Delhi: The much-awaited reshuffle of the Congress hierarchy, which took place on Friday, saw the exit of veteran Arjun Singh and six others from the Congress Working Committee (CWC) and two general secretaries Mohsina Kidwai and V Narayanasamy, who was recently made Minister of State in PMO.

Despite much talk, the party has not adhered strictly to the `one man-one post` norm with Union Ministers Ghulam Nabi Azad and Mukul Wasnik retained as general secretaries.

Azad is looking after poll-bound Tamil Nadu and now has also been made in-charge of Andhra Pradesh, where party is grappling with a number of issues including the separate statehood for Telangana.

Wasnik, who was in-charge of Bihar, where the party met a crushing defeat in the Assembly polls in November, will now look after only Rajasthan.

G Venkataswamy, a senior leader from Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh, who attacked her recently, is also out of the CWC.

The exercise coming three months after the authorisation given to her also saw the exit of CWC member K Keshava Rao who was in-charge of poll-bound West Bengal as also Jharkhand.

Others who have not been renominated to the CWC are Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, Union Ministers Mallikarjun Kharge, V Narayanasamy and senior MP Kishore Chandra Deo.

Those retained in the CWC besides Rahul Gandhi are senior ministers Pranab Mukherjee, A K Antony, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ambika Soni and senior leaders Motilal Vora, Digvijay Singh, Janardan Dwivedi.

Oscar Fernandes has been promoted to CWC, the highest policy-making body of the party, and made a general secretary. Home Minister P Chidambaram, who is a member of the elite Core Group, has been made a Permanent Invitee for the CWC.

Senior leader Ahmed Patel, who retains his position as political secretary to Congress President, will continue to be part of the CWC, which will now have 19 members including Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Dropped from the CWC, Arjun Singh and Mohsina Kidwai have been made permanent invitees of the body.

Satyavrat Chaturvedi, who is often at the centre of controversies because of statements against allies, has been removed as a permanent invitee.

Besides the incumbents, Rahul Gandhi, Digvijay Singh, B K Hariprasad, Azad, Janardan Dwivedi and Mukul Wasnik, the new general secretaries are Birender Singh, Madhusudan Mistry and Fernandes.

Andhra Pradesh, which has sent the largest number of Congress MPs in two successive elections, does not find a place in the reconstituted CWC.

A K Antony is no more in-charge of Maharashtra, which will now be looked after by Mohan Prakash, who was earlier AICC secretary assisting Antony in the state affairs.

Prakash, a party spokesman, is now elevated as a CWC member. He will also look after Gujarat and Jammu and Kashmir.

Another party spokesperson Shakeel Ahmed, too has become a CWC member and will be looking after poll-bound West Bengal, Jharkhand and Andaman and Nicobar.

Mohsina Kidwai has now been made in-charge of Mahila Congress with party MP Priya Dutt to assist her as AICC secretary.

Newly appointed CWC member Gulchain Singh Charak has been made incharge of Bihar in place of Wasnik.

Charak will also be in-charge of Punjab and Chandigarh.

Union Ministers M Veerappa Moily and Vilasrao Deshmukh and former Union Minister Saifuddin Soz and C K Jaffer Sharief are no longer permanent invitees to the CWC.

Paying special attention to Uttar Pradesh, where assembly elections are due next year, the party has made Union Minister Beni Prasad Verma as permanent invitee and Raj Babbar, Nirmal Khatri and Anil Shastri as special invitees.

Rahul Gandhi would continue to look after NSUI and Youth Congress.

G Sanjeeva Reddy, who hails from Andhra Pradesh, has been retained as a special invitee to the CWC on account of his being the head of INTUC.

Hemo Prova Saikia, wife of late Assam Chief Minister Hiteshwar Saikia, and Sushila Tiriya from Orissa have also been brought to the CWC while former Nagaland Chief Minister S C Jamir has been made a permanent invitee so also M V Rajsekharan from Karnataka.

The party has appointed as many as 33 secretaries including party MPs Sanjay Nirupam, Ashok Tanwar, Avinash Pandey, Bhakt Charan Das, Meenakshi Natarajan, Pervej Hashmi, RC Khuntiya, Tarachand Bhagora and V Hanumanth Rao and Vijay Lakshmi Sadho.

Former Orissa PCC President Jaydev Jena and Shanimol Usman, a Mahila Congress leader from Kerala, have also been made secretaries. Usman as well as Jeetendra Singh and Meenakshi Natarajan will be assisting Rahul Gandhi.

Party`s media department chief Janardan Dwivedi said that the AICC departments have not been reconstituted and it could be effected soon.

The name of Tom Vadakkan, who was handling media affairs as AICC secretary, does not figure in the new list of secretaries.

With assembly election in Punjab due next year, former MP Jagmeet Singh Brar has been made a permanent invitee to the CWC and in-charge of Goa, Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli.

Birender Singh, who has been made general secretary, has been given charge of Delhi, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.