Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday appointed former Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot as the new general secretary in-charge of BJP-ruled Gujarat. The state goes to polls in November-December, later this year.
Gehlot replaces Gurudas Kamat, who had requested the party high command to relieve him of the charge since he was not able to give sufficient time to the poll-bound state. Kamat continues to be the general secretary in-charge of Rajasthan.
As head of the party’s screening committee for the recent Punjab polls, Gehlot was credited with the “selection of right and winnable Congress candidates” in the state.
Gehlot will be assisted by four secretaries -- former Youth Congress chief Rajeev Satav, Harshvardhan Sapkal, Varsha Gaikwad and Jeetu Patwari.
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi will open his Gujarat campaign with a tribal rally at Dediapada in Narmada district on May 1, the foundation day of the BJP-ruled state. Gujarat and Maharashtra were carved out of the state of Mumbai in 1960.
Out of power in the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah for the past 22 years, the Congress is struggling to dethrone the ruling party.
Chhabildas Mehta was the last Congress CM from 1994-1995. From 1998, the BJP has been in power in the state for the past 19 years, of which Modi ruled for 12.