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Kuldeep Singh Rathore appointed HP Congress chief, replaces Sukhu


Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Senior Congress leader Kuldeep Singh Rathore was Thursday appointed as the president of the party's Himachal Pradesh unit, replacing Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu.

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi cleared his appointment as the party prepares for the Lok Sabha elections.

The 55-year-old Rathore is a member of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) and a former general secretary and the chief spokesman of the party's state unit, though he has never been an MLA.

An advocate by profession, Rathore comes from the upper Shimla region, considered the apple belt of Himachal. In appointing him, the Congress leadership has sought to balance the regional equation in the state as Leader of Opposition Mukesh Agnihotri hails from lower Himachal.

Rathore is also considered close to Congress Rajya Sabha member Anand Sharma.

"Congress president Rahul Gandhi has appointed Kuldeep Singh Rathore as president of Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee with immediate effect.

"The party appreciates the hard work and contribution of Sushwinder Singh Sukhu who will be stepping down from his responsibility as PCC president of Himachal Pradesh," a statement from AICC general secretary Ashok Gehlot said.

Sukhu's removal ahead of the parliamentary elections comes amidst report of a group led by former chief minister Virbhadra Singh wanting his removal.

Virbhadra Singh had demanded Sukhu's ouster last year too, but Gandhi did not remove him as the state was headed to assembly elections then.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Thu, January 10 2019. 19:45 IST