The sudden changes in five states has set in motion the much-awaited restructuring of the Congress party that is struggling hard to recover from a series of electoral setbacks.
Congress sources said the stage is set for a major overhaul in the party at the national level. The process will gather momentum once Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi returns later this week from his leave of absence to “reflect upon recent events and the future course” of the party.
Sources said Rahul will have a new team before the next All India Congress Committee (AICC) session — likely to be held in April — in which he is widely expected to take over the party reins. “Before he formally takes over, Rahulji will have his own team in place so that his roadmap for the party’s revival is followed in both letter and spirit,” a Rahul aide said.
The revamp will see major changes at all levels to transform the party into a fighting machine once again. The possibility of some general secretaries being axed is high while others may see a change in their responsibilities.
Rahul was flooded with complaints against general secretaries when he sought feedback from party colleagues on how to revive the Congress.
The interactions mostly entered on how these general secretaries had ignored grassroots workers, failed to end factionalism and hardly visited the states under their charge since the last reshuffle in June 2013.
Some young leaders are expected to be promoted and entrusted with key responsibilities in the revamp as Rahul had made it abundantly clear that he would go for “structural changes” in the party organisation.
But at the same time he would want to utilise the services and experience of senior leaders in the long-term rebuilding of the party.
Perhaps Rahul knows that any move to bring about a generation change in the party is bound to cause some heartburn.
A section suggested the revamp could take place only after the organisational elections later this year.
Last week, party leaders Ajay Maken, Ashok Chavan, Ghulam Ahmed Mir, Bharatsinh Solanki and Uttam Kumar Reddy were appointed as PCC chiefs in Delhi, Maharashtra, Jammu and Kashmir, Gujarat and Telangana. Former Haryana minister Randeep Singh Surjewala was given the charge of party’s communications department in place of Maken.