After appointing additional permanent secretaries in the state unit, the ruling Congress in the state is gearing up for a major restructuring of its district units to revitalise its cadres and prepare them for the panchayat elections to be by year-end.
State Congress committee chief Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu has received a feedback from the observers appointed to oversee the functioning of block units that in certain districts neither the units nor the presidents were "so active". It was observed that a majority of functionaries in the district units were inactive. There were 13 district units of party and after the creation of five organisation district the numbers has increased to 17. In spite of resistance from vanguard leaders, Sukhu had managed get an approval from the party high command to subdivide the organisational districts of Kangra and Mandi.
As part of the exercise, Kangra district, which comprises 16 assembly segments and is known for tilting the political scales in the state, was split into four units, including Dehra, Palampur and Nurpur, while Mandi, the largest district comprising 10 assembly constituencies, has been split into Sundernagar and Mandi." Change in the party is a constant process. Office-bearers in the district units who have performed well would be suitably accommodated in the state unit," said Congress chief spokesperson Naresh Chauhan.
"The state president feels that the party officer-bearers should reach out to the common man and the civil society so that their problems could be taken up more effectively with the government, said Chauhan. "The party will now focus on giving an opportunity to those who had been neglected in the party and bringing in fresh ideas and connecting with people, he added.
There are around half-a-dozen district units of the party where the presidents are holding on to their position for more than five to six years. These districts include Shimla, Kullu, Mandi, Solan, Kangra, Bilaspur and Una.
Emulating the BJP's parent organisation that has whole time vistaraks (expansionist) and pracharaks (propagandist), the Congress will appoint 17 whole-time secretaries in the state. The state Congress chief recently got a nod from the party high command to appoint whole-time secretaries in 17 organisation district. Currently there are 40 secretaries in the state and 17 more have been appointed.
Secretaries with good organisational skills will be appointed as whole-timers. The whole-timers will be paid nominally from the party fund. The whole-time secretaries will also keep a tab on the working of the district units besides working as "expansionist "