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Cabinet done, it’s party time

delhi Updated: Jan 21, 2011 02:59 IST
Aurangzeb Naqshbandi

After the Cabinet reshuffle on Wednesday, all eyes are now set on the much-awaited revamp in the Congress.

Restructuring the organisational set-up is high on Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s agenda and she is expected to announce the changes any time now.

But, a section in the Congress is of the opinion that she might delay the process in view of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's promise of a “more expansive” rejig after the Budget session.

“Whatever is necessary will be done now and a bigger exercise could follow the next Cabinet reshuffle. There are many factors that have to be taken into consideration before effecting the changes,” a senior party functionary said.

It remains to be seen if Gandhi delays the exercise for the Congress Working Committee (CWC), the highest decision making body of the party, which already stands dissolved. It has since been converted into a steering committee and five states are going to polls, most likely in May.

The party may see if Gandhi appoints a new team of general secretaries and AICC secretaries or continues with the existing set-up. The party leadership is finding it difficult to follow the ‘one-man-one-post’ principle.

Three party general secretaries — Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mukul Wasnik and V Narayansamy are serving in the Union council of ministers. The slot vacated by Prithiviraj Chavan, who was moved to Maharashtra as the chief minister, is yet to be filled up.

Some Cabinet ministers are also holding dual charges as party in-charge of states. Defence minister AK Antony is in-charge of Maharashtra, while law minister M Veerappa Moily looks after Andhra Pradesh.

“Finding their replacements is a tough task,” said another party functionary. Gandhi also has to appoint new party chiefs for some states.

New portfolios, new promises