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Rahul Gandhi’s core team revamped with young staff, corporate style

With the Congress set for an organisational revamp, its vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s core team is also undergoing silent changes. Gandhi maintains a small office with 6-7 staff, all young. The office has a corporate style of functioning and appointments to Gandhi are given only on the basis of written requests.

india Updated: Apr 26, 2015 10:39 IST
HT Correspondent

With the Congress set for an organisational revamp, its vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s core team is also undergoing silent changes.

Kanishka Singh, Gandhi’s aide for more than a decade, is now devoting time in managing his sister Priyanka Vadra’s office as well. Oxford University graduate Kaushal Vidyarthee is seen as an important manager of Gandhi’s office. Vidyarthee, who is in his early thirties, studied urban planning but later associated himself with the women self-help group movement in Uttar Pradesh. His main job is to manage appointments and prepare background notes and papers for Gandhi.

Kanishka, at times, is the go-between for media but the Congress communication cell, headed by Ajay Maken, remains the official communication channel.

Gandhi maintains a small office with 6-7 staff, all young. The office has a corporate style of functioning and appointments to Gandhi are given only on the basis of written requests.

“Compiling reports from party sources is another major task,” said a source.

The team also gives Gandhi major talking points ahead of his public meetings. “Finally, it is Gandhi who decides the subject on which he wants to speak after consulting many people, including sister Priyanka,” said a source.

As the leader has decided to become more active in Lok Sabha, his team has the task of preparing notes on the “right” subjects.

Priyanka maintains an even smaller office which mostly deals with issues of Rae Bareli, her mother’s constituency, and Rajiv Gandhi Foundation apart from her engagements.

“She also has developed an interest in tracking Congress’ campaign, especially the social media propaganda,” said a source.

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Congress national spokesperson Randeep Surjewala has emerged as a key face in Team Rahul. “He was one of the first people Rahul Gandhi called for a meeting soon after he returned on Thursday,” said a source.

Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh continues to enjoy an excellent rapport with Gandhi. Another party general secretary, Ajay Maken, has also warmed up to the party vice-president.

K Raju, the head of the party’s Schedule Caste cell, plays a crucial role in issues related to minorities. Sachin Rao is Gandhi’s pointsman for Youth Congress related issues. KB Baiju, the SPG officer who quit his job to join Team Rahul, now works mostly from National Herald building where the Congress has a makeshift office.

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