Janardhan Dwivedi Out, Ashok Gehlot In: Rahul Gandhi Makes First Big Change in Congress

Congress veteran Janardan Dwivedi has been replaced by ex-Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot as the AICC general secretary in charge of organisation and training in a rejig by party chief Rahul Gandhi.

While bringing organisational changes in the Congress after taking over the reins of the grand old party in last December, Rahul Gandhi also appointed Rajeev Satav and Jitendra Singh as in-charges of the party’s affairs in Gujarat and Odisha, respectively.

Dwivedi, considered a political heavyweight and a close confidante of Sonia Gandhi, would step down as party general secretary, a post he held for over two decades. He had earlier also headed the party’s communication wing for several years and has been part of several key decisions of the Congress.

Dwivedi was also part of a four-member committee that Sonia Gandhi, as then Congress president, had constituted to run the party in her absence, while she was undergoing treatment abroad.

Satav replaces Gehlot, who was entrusted the responsibility of AICC general secretary in charge of Gujarat, ahead of assembly polls in the state late last year.

Gehlot, who had played a crucial role in galvanising the party in the run-up to Gujarat Assembly polls, has been entrusted the task of taking care of the organisation and providing training to party workers.

This is Rahul Gandhi’s first appointment for the party’s general secretary post after he announced reorganising the Congress at the party’s plenary session earlier this month.

However, with elections to Rajasthan Assembly only a few months away, it remains to be seen whether Gehlot would continue to campaign aggressively in the state as his new assignment entails spending more time at the party headquarters in Delhi.

“Congress President Rahul Gandhi has designated Ashok Gehlot as general secretary in charge, organisation and training, in place of Janardan Dwivedi, general secretary AICC,” Dwivedi said in a statement.

It further states that a note from the Congress president says, “The party appreciates the hard work and contribution of Janardan Dwivedi, who will be stepping down from his responsibility as AICC general secretary.”

In another statement, Dwivedi said, “Congress President Rahul Gandhi has appointed Rajeev Satav, MP, as the AICC in charge of Gujarat with immediate effect.”

“Congress President Rahul Gandhi has appointed Jitendra Singh, ex-union minister as AICC in charge of Odisha, in place of B K Hariprasad,” said a second statement.

The second order also said the party appreciates the hard work and contribution of Hariprasad, “who will be stepping down from his responsibility as AICC General Secretary in-charge, Odisha”.

According to sources, Gehlot has thanked the party workers of Gujarat for extending support to him during the assembly elections and will concentrate on the upcoming elections in Rajasthan.

In yet another order, Rahul Gandhi appointed Lalji Desai as the chief organiser of the All India Congress Seva Dal, replacing Mehendra Joshi.

The party also placed on record the hard work and contribution of Joshi, who is stepping down from his responsibility as chief organiser of Seva Dal.

The changes are part of a major restructuring of the Congress under Rahul Gandhi’s leadership and indicate a generational shift which the new party chief is wanting.

A completely revamped Congress is likely to be in place in the coming times, as stated by the party president himself.

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