Saiyed is a former councilor of the Ahmedabad municipality and had been a general secretary of the party’s Gujarat unit. Kidwai, slated to be given some other assignment in the organisation, hails from Uttar Pradesh.
A senior Congress leader pointed out that Saiyed’s appointment is aimed to send a political message to the minorities in the backdrop of BJP elevating the Gujarat chief minister as its prime minister candidate for 2014 polls. “He had taken a lead role during the past two elections in campaigning against Modi,” a leader added.
Sources added that Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, deputy chief of party’s Panchayat Raj cell Harshwardhan Sapkal and a few more leaders were directly involved in picking Saiyed for the post. In the state politics, Saiyed is considered close to Siddharth Patel, the former Gujarat Congress chief.