Congress rejig: Surjewala appointed in-charge of poll-bound Madhya Pradesh, Ajai Rai made UP unit chief

08:42 PM Aug 17, 2023 | PTI |

Effecting an organisational shake-up, the Congress on Thursday appointed former MLA Ajay Rai as the chief of the party’s Uttar Pradesh unit and Randeep Surjewala as general secretary in-charge of poll-bound Madhya Pradesh.


Also, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge appointed Mukul Wasnik as general secretary in-charge of Gujarat, replacing Raghu Sharma.

Surjewala, who is the in-charge of Karnataka, has been given the additional charge of Madhya Pradesh, replacing Jai Prakash Agarwal.

Kharge appointed Rai, an upper caste Bhumihar who had unsuccessfully contested against Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Varanasi in the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha polls, as the president of the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee, with immediate effect, replacing Dalit leader Brijlal Khabri.

Rai, who was an MLA for about 20 years between 1996-2017, had been in the BJP and the Samajwadi Party before joining the Congress in 2012.


”The party appreciates the contribution of the outgoing PCC president Brijlal Khabri, Ex-MP, and all the zonal presidents,” the party said in a statement issued by general secretary organisation K C Venugopal.

Surjewala was recently appointed as a senior election observer by the party in Madhya Pradesh which goes to polls later this year.

An organisational overhaul of several state units of the Congress is underway and more appointments are likely to be made in the coming days.

Earlier this month, the Congress set up screening committees to finalise candidates for the assembly polls in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Telangana later this year.

The setting up of the screening committees followed the appointment of election observers for Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Mizoram.

The Congress is seeking to wrest control from the BJP in Madhya Pradesh.

The party is holding poll strategy meetings for every state in order to prepare for next year’s Lok Sabha elections.


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