The revamp of the Congress organizational structure on Sunday saw senior leader from Madhya Pradesh Digvijaya Singh once again taking charge as AICC general secretary in charge of Andhra Pradesh, replacing Union health and family welfare minister GhulamNabi Azad. And for the first time, the party high command appointed a deputy in-charge in the form of MP PriyaDutt. Just like in the past, four assistants to Singh were also named.
Singh had earlier served as AP in charge general secretary in 2004 and was replaced by Azad just before the polls. Singh was also made in charge of Karnataka and Goa.
The latest move, ahead of the assembly elections next year, surprised many in the state Congress circles. “His electoral track record is awful, the latest example being Uttar Pradesh where he was in-charge and the Congress was routed in the assembly polls,” said a leader. “The only plus point in him is that he is close to the AP party leaders, and was close to former chief minister YSR. Some people are wondering whether Singh has been brought in to handle the YSR Congress and its leader Jaganmohan Reddy.”
The four leaders named as Singh’s assistants for AP affairs are Chella Kumar, R C Kunthiya, Shantharam Naik and Thirunavukkarasu. “Neither Dutt nor the four assistants are organizational leaders,” a source said. “They have no knowledge about the state’s affairs.”
Eluru MP Kavuri Sambasiva Rao was appointed a permanent invitee and INTUC president G Sanjeeva Reddy a special invitee to the Congress Working Committee. The appointments are not significant since neither the permanent invitee nor the special invitee is invited to the regular CWC meetings. The last proper CWC member from AP was Kotla Vijayabhaskar Reddy in the late nineties.
P Sudhakar Reddy, who was recently nominated as an MLC, was replaced as AICC secretary by G Chinna Reddy, while Rajya Sabha MP V Hanumantha Rao’s position as another AICC secretary was left untouched.