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Cong rewards workers

New Delhi, Dec. 25: In a first move of its kind, the state unit of Congress decided not to include its MLA or MP in Jharkhand Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) as the party is trying to “recognise and reward workers and leaders who were denied tickets in the last elections but are known to work hard for the organisation.”

According to Congress leaders, in a drastic change from the last committee, the new Jharkhand PCC will have no public representatives, present MLAs or MPs, much to the discomfort of many party leaders.

After declaring a young tribal leader, Sukhdeo Bhagat, as Jharkhand PCC chief earlier this year, the party is all set to notify names of committee members for the state this week.

The number of members is also being reduced significantly. The old committee under Pradeep Balmuchu had 150 members, while this time the strength of the panel under Bhagat will be less than 50.

B.K. Hariprasad, Congress general secretary and in-charge of Jharkhand, said names of committee members were almost finalised and will be announced within a few days.

Bhagat had recommended the names that were accepted by party high command without changes, sources added.

Bhagat said the effort was to bring a mixture of experience and youth on board.

“We have retained some old members, but majority are new faces. By keeping out the present MPs and MLAs, the idea is to involve other party workers who perform at the grassroots level but are often denied major responsibilities.”

On being asked how the party would tackle its disgruntled parliamentarians and MLAs, Bhagat said they had to abide by the top leadership.

“We have decided what is in the best interest of the party. I do not think there would be many complaints. But if somebody does not agree with our decisions, they have to understand that this is what the leadership wants. Also by keeping the committee small, we want to make it more agile, effective and functional,” Bhagat said.

“In the new committee, commissionary level party presidents have also been included because we want their representation,” the new Jharkhand Pradesh Congress Committee chief said.

Last week, a 20-member delegation of the party leaders had met senior Congress leaders in Delhi to discuss the issues of its alliance with JMM in the state and possible distribution of tickets for 2014 Lok Sabha elections.