New Delhi: The Congress on Friday appointed Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot as the new general secretary incharge of organization and training. The move is significant as it comes in the backdrop of party president Rahul Gandhi’s bid to infuse changes in the party organization ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Gehlot replaces Janardan Dwivedi, who has served a long stint in one of the most crucial posts in the party organization. Gehlot has been largely credited with Congress’s turnaround in Gujarat where the party put up a stellar performance in the December elections.
“Congress President Rahul Gandhi has designated Ashok Gehlot as general secretary incharge, organisation and training, in place of Janardan Dwivedi, general secetary AICC," Dwivedi said in a statement.
“The party appreciates the hard work and contribution of Janardan Dwivedi, who will be stepping down from his responsibility as AICC general secretary," the statement added.
Indicating a generational shift, Gandhi on Friday also appointed two new and young state unit incharges. Lok Sabha MP Rajeev Satav (43) being made incharge of Gujarat and former union minister Jitendra Singh (46) as incharge of poll-bound Odisha. While Satav replaces Gehlot (66), Singh replaces senior Rajya Sabha leader B.K. Hariprasad (63).
The changes in the party are in line with Gandhi’s slogan of “grand old young party". At the Congress plenary session on 4 March, Gandhi reached out to younger leaders in the party and said they will be brought ahead even as the guidance of veterans will continue to be required.
On Friday, the Congress also announced the appointment of Lalji Desai as the new chief organizer of Seva Dal, the grassroots front organization of the party. He replaces Mahendra Joshi.
Senior party leaders point out that more changes could be in the offing over the next few weeks. These developments gain significance as Gandhi has been authorized to appoint his team members in the Congress Working Committee (CWC), the highest decision making body of the party.