With Sonia Gandhi back as the Congress chief, the older guard has started to assert itself in the party. On Wednesday, senior leaders finally settled the leadership issue in the Haryana unit of the Congress. The party president named Kumari Selja as the state unit chief. She replaced youth leader Ashok Tanwar, considered close to Rahul Gandhi. Former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda was appointed Congress legislative party leader, which makes him the leader of the Opposition. He would also be the chairman of the election management committee of the party for the forthcoming Assembly polls. The Hooda camp had threatened to quit if the party failed to remove Tanwar. The decision has come about after several rounds of consultations between the Congress president, senior leader Ghulam Nabi Azad and Hooda. The election schedule is likely to be announced later this month.
Department becomes ‘cell’
Congress president Sonia Gandhi (pictured) has reorganised the party’s data analytics department. The department, headed by Praveen Chakravarty, had led the Congress campaign on its minimum income guarantee promise in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, as also its membership drive. Its forecasts of the party on its way to get over 120 seats were proved incorrect. Knives were out within the party against Chakravarty, considered close to Rahul Gandhi. Now, Sonia Gandhi has demoted the standalone department to a "cell" within a department. In a letter dated Tuesday, party general secretary
K C Venugopal stated that the department will now function as a “technology and data cell within the organisation department” of the party. Chakravarty would continue to head the cell, but will now need to take approvals from organisation depart-ment heads, instead of the party chief.
Rule applies to all
As she was concluding her keynote address during the inaugural session of a convention organised by the Indian Music Industry (IMI) in the national capital on Tuesday, Sumita Dawra, joint secretary, Department for Promotion of Industry & Internal Trade, noted that no musical performance in such an event was a bit surprising. While this evoked laughter from the audience, someone quipped that the organisers did not schedule any because they did not have a licence for it. In a panel discussion held earlier, the participants emphasised the need for a better deal for music companies because broadcasters were raking in the moolah leveraging a product (read music) manufactured by them. The recording companies’ representatives reasoned, even if in jest, that the convention itself fell in the private events category. So no question of a musical performance!