Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Ashok Tanwar and V.M. Sudheeran to take charge
Minister of State for Railways Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, senior leader V.M. Sudheeran and Dalit MP Ashok Tanwar were appointed PCC chiefs in West Bengal, Kerala and Haryana respectively on Monday as the Congress gets battle-ready for Elections 2014.
The selection of Mr. Chowdhury, a known detractor of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Bannerjee and with a reputation of being a “street fighter,” comes three days after the Congress suspended two of its MLAs for voting for the Trinamool Congress in the recent Rajya Sabha biennial elections in West Bengal.
Mr. Chowdhury — 57-year-old Lok Sabha MP from Baharampur — replaces Rajya Sabha MP Pradip Bhattacharya, who was the acting WBPCC chief. His appointment also signals that the Congress will be going it alone in West Bengal.
Mr. Sudheeran, a widely respected figure in Kerala politics, believed to have the blessings of Union Defence Minister A.K. Antony, takes over from Ramesh Chennithala, who has been made Home Minister in the State.
Along with Mr. Sudheeran, party national secretary and State MLA V.D. Satheeshan, a close associate of party vice president Rahul Gandhi, known for his clean image and for taking up green causes, has been made vice-president of the Kerala PCC.
Mr. Tanwar, a former Youth Congress chief, succeeds Phulchand Mulana, also a Dalit and a close associate of Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda. A Lok Sabha MP from Sirsa (SC), Mr. Tanwar, a Rahul Gandhi loyalist, will turn 38 on Wednesday: his name had been doing the rounds for a while, but it had been opposed by factions within the party.