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HindustanTimes Wed,20 Aug 2014

With eyes on LS polls, HP Cong set for a revamp

Gaurav Bisht, Hindustan Times  Shimla, March 31, 2013
First Published: 21:09 IST(31/3/2013) | Last Updated: 10:31 IST(1/4/2013)

Eyeing electoral gains ahead of parliamentary election, Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee is all set to go for a major revamp.

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State party chief Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu has already held preliminary discussions with senior leaders. Sukhu has separately consulted chief minister Virbhadra Singh, IPH minister Vidya Stokes, revenue minister Kaul Singh Thakur, transport minister GS Bali, AICC secretary Asha Kumari and former Rajya Sabha member Viplove Thakur.  

Sukhu had also sought suggestions from his one-time mentor and former telecommunication minister Sukh Ram, who is likely to play a crucial role in Mandi parliamentary segment.

Sukh Ram had made his presence felt during  the recent general house meeting of the party convened by Sukhu. It was after a long gap that chief minister Virbhadra Singh and Sukh Ram were seen sharing the dais. 

Sukhu, after taking over reins, had made efforts to bury the factional feud in the party.  Sukhu, who, for long had headed party's youth wing National Student Union of India and Youth Congress, is likely to give preference to youth while constituting his new team. “It's but obvious that new team will be a blend of experience and youth,” Sukhu told Hindustan Times.

“More responsibility will be given to youth,” he said, adding that he had already prepared  a roadmap for revamping the party. He is likely to restructure the party on the basis of performance of the office-bearers. “Appointments in the party will be made viewing performance of office-bearers over the last three months. Those who have perfored below expectations are unlikely to find place in the team,” Sukhu said. 

Though party does not stick hard to its 'one-man, one-post' formula, but Sukhu has dropped enough hints that Congress leaders holding government posts are likely to be relieved of their responsibility. Urban development minister Sudhir Sharma also holds the post of the party general secretary, while Harsh Mahajan, chairman of Himachal Pradesh Co-operative Bank, is party vice president and industries minister Mukesh Agnihotri heads the media department.

Full time workers with good organisation skills will be promoted in the party, he said. “I have found many party workers who are working hard but are unable to come to the forefront,” Sukhu said, who has already assessed the perfoamce of the block and district units of the party.

Speculations are rife within the Congress that many of   the incumbent district presidents may lose their posts. “One thing is clear appointments would be based on performance,” Sukhu said, who, after seeking approval from All India Congress Committee president Sonia Gandhi, is likely to announce the new team by the end of April.


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