Rawat Cong Assam minder

Harish Rawat

Guwahati: Former Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat will take over as the AICC general secretary in-charge of Assam in place of C.P. Joshi.

The announcement was made in a release issued on Tuesday by AICC general secretary Ashok Gehlot. In another release, Gehlot said Rawat, along with former Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi and former Manipur deputy chief minister Gaikangham Gangmei, are among the 23 leaders included in the Congress Working Committee (CWC) reconstituted by party president Rahul Gandhi.

Insiders said Joshi's exit had been doing the rounds for some time. "It was along expected lines after the party lost one state after another in the Northeast, including Assam," one of them said. Among the seven states, the Congress is in power only in Mizoram.

The party, however, said it "appreciates" the work done by Joshi.

The inclusion of veterans Gogoi and Gaikhangam in the CWC, a party insider said, "shows the high command still has faith in them despite the reverses the party suffered in Assam and Manipur at the hands of the BJP".

Gogoi's son Gaurav, a first-time MP, was made one of the permanent invitees to the CWC along with party veterans P. Chidamambaram and Sheila Dixit, among others.

Gaurav was appointed as in-charge of West Bengal and Andaman and Nicobar Islands in May, replacing Joshi.

Sushmita Dev, president of Mahila Congress and another first-time MP, has been made a special invitee to the CWC.


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