The Congress on Tuesday brought in some young faces while retaining the old stalwarts in its jumbo team of spokespersons and media panelists in a revamp that is widely considered as a precursor to a major organisational reshuffle expected anytime soon.
The party’s communications department, headed by Randeep Singh Surjewala, will now have nine senior spokespersons, 10 existing talking heads and 17 new voices. Apart from this, the department will have 31 media panelists to articulate the party’s views in the electronic media.
The revamp saw Tom Vadakkan, who served in the party’s media department for nearly 16 years and under leaders such as Pranab Mukherjee and VN Gadgil, being appointed as a spokesperson.
The other new faces in the list of 36 spokespersons are Vijay Inder Singla, RPN Singh, Madhu Goud Yaskhi, Deepender Singh Hooda, Rajiv Satav, Sushmita Deb, Gaurav Gogoi and PL Punia. They will add strength to the team that already has Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Raj Babbar, Sandeep Dikhsit and Shobha Oza among its members.
The team of media panelists includes Manish Tewari, Sanjay Nirupam, Sharmistha Mukherjee, Ranjita Ranjan, Anant Gadgil, Chandan Yadav, Praniti Shinde, Rashmi Kant and Ashok Tanwar.
Party general secretary CP Joshi joins the senior spokespersons’ team that also has Ajay Maken, Shakeel Ahmed and Satyavrat Chaturvedi, who makes a comeback. Former union ministers P Chidambaram, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Salman Khurshid, Anand Sharma and Mukul Wasnik are also in this group.
All regions have been given representation in the 70-member jumbo team, two-thirds of which have members below the age of 40 years. The team has been drafted to ensure the opposition party’s visibility and presence not only in the media but also on streets, a senior functionary said.
SV Ramni has replaced Vadakkan as the media department secretary while Ashish Dua and Pranav Jha are the new coordinators.