Sushil Kumar Shinde becomes Congress in-charge in Himachal Pradeshindia Updated: Jul 22, 2017 22:05 IST
Former union minister Sushil Kumar Shinde (2nd from right) addressing the media at the state congress office in Shimla.(HT Photo)
The Congress on Saturday appointed former union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde as its general secretary and gave him charge of party affairs in poll-bound Himachal Pradesh.
Shinde, 75, replaces Ambika Soni who had requested the party to relieve her of the charge of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand due to health reasons. Assembly elections will be held in Himachal Pradesh along with Gujarat in November-December this year.
However, 74-year-old Soni will continue to be party general secretary in-charge of Jammu and Kashmir. She had earlier requested the Congress high command a year ago to reduce her workload in view of her ill health. In fact, Soni had taken the help of senior colleague Kumari Selja in running the party affairs in Uttarakhand during the assembly elections in February-March this year.
Shinde will be assisted by Bihar MP Ranjeet Ranjan. She replaces Raja Ram Pal.
In another development, Congress president Sonia Gandhi set up a team of observers, comprising former union minister Jitendra Singh, Lok Sabha MPs Sushmita Dev (Assam) and Tamradhwaj Sahu (Chhattisgarh), to assess the situation in Odisha.
The team will assist party general secretary BK Hariprasad and visit the Biju Janata Dal (BJD)-ruled state soon. The leadership has been receiving frequent complaints against Odisha chief Prasad Harichandan for his “failure” to contain the growing dissent within the state unit.
The brass is also worried over the BJP’s expanding foothold in the eastern state as evident from the outcome of this year’s panchayat elections.
Gandhi also appointed Ruchi Gupta as a party joint secretary, a new post in the All India Congress Committee (AICC).
First Published: Jul 22, 2017 22:05 IST