Ajay Maken set to become Delhi Congress chief

  • Aurangzeb Naqshbandi, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Mar 01, 2015 01:29 IST

Congress general secretary in charge of communications department Ajay Maken is set to take over as the new chief of the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) replacing Arvinder Singh Lovely.

Sources said the appointment of Maken, 51, was cleared by Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi before he took a leave of absence for few weeks to “reflect upon recent events and the future course” of the party.

Taking full responsibility for the party’s failure to open an account in the recent Delhi elections, Maken had promptly resigned from the party post.

He himself lost from the Sadar Bazar constituency. Former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit had pinned the blame on him for the drubbing.

The immediate task for Maken, a former Union minister and an ex-Delhi assembly speaker, would be to revive the party fortunes in the capital where the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has appropriated the Congress’ political space and its vote share.

A senior Congress functionary told HT that the party had also decided to replace PCC chiefs in Punjab, Telangana and Jammu and Kashmir.

Former minister Uttam Kumar Reddy, 52, will replace Ponnala Lakshmaiah as the Telangana PCC president while five-time legislator Lal Singh has emerged as a front-runner to take over the party reins in Punjab from Partap Singh Bajwa.

Similarly, former Jammu and Kashmir minister Ghulam Ahmed Mir, 55, is set to take over from Saifuddin Soz, who has already submitted his resignation to the party high command.

The sudden changes have set in process the much-awaited restructuring of the Congress party that is struggling to recover from a series of electoral setbacks.

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