Ten days after the long-awaited cabinet reshuffle and expansion, the Congress party high command has now started reorganising the party unit in Rajasthan.
In the first phase, the party on Wednesday appointed 13 district committee presidents, treasurer and spokespersons for the Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee (RPCC).
The newly appointed district presidents by the All India Congress Committee (AICC) and signed by Congress general secretary KC Venugopal, include, Yogesh Mishra in Alwar, Ramcharan Meena in Baran, Fateh Khan in Barmer, Yashpal Gehlot in Bikaner (Urban), Ramji Lal Odh in Dausa, Ummed Singh Tanwar in Jaisalmer, Advocate Virendra Singh Gurjar in Jhalawar, Heeraram Meghwal in Jodhpur (Rural), Salim Khan in Jodhpur Urban (north), Naresh Joshi in Jodhpur Urban (south), Zakir Hussain Gesawat in Nagaur, Harisingh Rathor in Rajsamand and Sunita Githala in Sikar district.
Following the tussle between Sachin Pilot and chief minister Ashok Gehlot, Congress had dissolved all district and block committees after the former was removed as deputy chief minister and as the party president in July 2020. The rift in the party had also weakened the organizational structure which needed the attention of the Congress high command.
"With elections two years away, strengthening of the party was much needed. The office bearers had lost hope and were acting low due to the infighting. The party postings given to them will not only rejuvenate them but will strengthen the organisation once again", a senior Congress leader told Outlook.
While the former primary education minister, Govind Singh Dotasara was made the new Congress state president immediately after the Pilot was sacked, however, the posts for district presidents remained vacant for over a year. As per sources, the decision to dissolve the committees was taken as leaders loyal to Pilot held most of the posts across the state. The party was quick to appoint new heads of NSUI, Youth Congress, Sewa Dal and Mahila congress, as the previous ones were close to Pilot.
Interestingly in the new list of appointments, several of the district Congress committee presidents who were removed earlier have once again been reinstated. The districts presidents remain unchanged in Bikaner, Nagaur, Barmer and Dausa district, considered as a stronghold of Pilot.
What are the challenges ahead?
According to the political observers, the 13 newly appointed district presidents are non-controversial, mainly those who were actively involved in the party and have their roots in the youth Congress and NSUI. "The challenge lies ahead for the party in the second list that will be out soon. The first list had neutral leaders who were not majorly from any camp. Out of 13, four are from rural districts", a senior party leader told Outlook.
As per party insiders, the actual challenge lies in the second list where the party will have to try their best to accommodate people from both factions.
"The biggest challenge in front of the party is to accommodate people from both factions in order to keep a balance. When Pilot was PCC chief for six years, the youth felt motivated and were given important roles in party organisation which were early restricted to seasoned leaders. Similarly, those close to Gehlot were sidelined in those six years. So the challenge is to keep a balance between the two factions while reorganising the party in the state", a senior Congress leader told Outlook
Apart from the district presidents, Swarnim Chaturvedi and RC Choudhary have been appointed as party spokespersons whereas Sitaram Agarwal, has been made the treasurer of RPCC. The Party president Dotasara took to Twitter and congratulated the newly appointed leaders and expressed hope that they would strengthen the organisation by taking the party’s policies and ideology to the people.