Close on the heels of its electoral debacle in the heartland, the Congress on Thursday replaced the State party chiefs in Delhi and Chhattisgarh by Arvinder Singh Lovely and Bhupesh Baghel, both elected MLAs. This came a day after Goa PCC chief Subhash A Shirodkar was replaced by the former MP, John F Fernandes. Mr. Shirodkar put in his papers shortly after the party lost the Assembly elections in the State in 2012.
Next on the cards is Rajasthan, where State chief Chandrabhan resigned in the wake of the party’s humiliating defeat — he failed to win his own seat. Madhya Pradesh, party sources said, also requires a new chief in the wake of the Congress failing to unseat the BJP, which has been in power in the State for a decade. Gujarat, where the Congress lost the Assembly elections last year, is likely to see Arjun Modhwadia giving place to a new State chief.
Reports also suggest that young MP Ashok Tanwar may become Haryana PCC chief, with replacement of Phulchand Mulana being long due. Similar is the case in Maharashtra, where PCC chief Manikrao Thakre’s term has ended. A party general secretary told The Hindu that more organisational changes were expected in the month leading up to the January 17 AICC session, and these may include central office-bearers as well.
General secretaries who wish to contest Lok Sabha elections could be replaced by Central Ministers who will be drafted for party work, provided they are from the Rajya Sabha. The general secretaries who may wish to contest the Lok Sabha elections, the sources said, include Mukul Wasnik, Gurudas Kamat and Shakeel Ahmad — the last named if the Congress comes to an electoral understanding with the RJD in Bihar.
At the AICC session, the party, the sources stressed, would like to have its team for 2014 ready, as the discussions there — centred round various draft resolutions on the political situation, economy and any other subject the Congress Working Committee chooses — will set the direction for the general election.