Cong sets in motion process for appointing PCC chiefs

New Delhi: Three months after effecting a reshuffle of the AICC, the Congress has set in motion the process of appointing new PCC chiefs in some six states, including in Andhra Pradesh, where it suffered a shocking defeat in the recent by-polls.

In Orissa, Rajasthan, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir and Mumbai too, the party will be having new PCC Presidents.

Party sources said that in Andhra Pradesh, the only major state where the party is in power on its own, state Ministers Botsa Satyanaryana and Kanna Lakshminarayana are the front-runners for the post. The two belong to the influential Kapu community.

Film star Chiranjeevi, who merged his Praja Rajyam Party with the Congress recently, is also from the community.

D Srinivas is currently the PCC chief in Andhra Pradesh, where is the party is undergoing a churning following a crushing defeat in the Kadapa Lok Sabha by-polls at the hands of rebel Y S Jaganmohan Reddy.

Congress nominee and state Health Minister D L Ravindra even lost his deposit.

N Kirankumar Reddy was made the Chief Minister sometime back in the state replacing K Rosaiah. Rosaiah had a meeting with party chief Sonia Gandhi today.

The sources said that in Orissa, former state Minister Niranjan Patnaik, is the front-runner to head the party which is in the opposition for last 12 years with the BJD led by Navin Patnaik ruling there. Former Union Minister K P Singhdeo is the incumbent PCC chief.

The process comes nearly three months after the AICC reshuffle in March.

In Rajasthan, Congress is toying with the idea of making party MP Narendra Budania or PCC Vice-President Chander Bhan as the new PCC chief replacing Union Minister C P Joshi who successfully led the party in the 2009 Lok Sabha and 2008 Assembly elections.

Both Budania and Chander Bhan hail from the influential Jat community and the party has Ashok Gehlot as the Chief Minister who belongs to the OBC.

Changes are also in the offing in J and K and Haryana where the party is headed by Saifuddin Soz and Phulchand Mulana respectively.

In Mumbai, incumbent Kripashanker Singh appears to be on his way out as the Mumbai Regional Congress Committee chief.

Singh is battling corruption charges and various groups in the city Congress have been mounting pressure on the party high command for his removal.

The CBI has found evidence of financial transactions between Singh and former Jharkhand minister Kamlesh Singh, an aide of former chief minister Madhu Koda.