Calcutta: Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Sunday replaced C.P. Joshi with the 36-year-old first time Assam MP Gaurav Gogoi as the party's Bengal minder.
The new observer, the son of former Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi, will also look after the Andaman and Nicobar Islands ahead of Lok Sabha elections in 2019.
There have always been allegations from within the Bengal Congress that Joshi, an AICC general secretary, was never available for leaders in the state and did not make adequate visits here during his tenure as the observer.
State Congress president and Behrampore MP Adhir Chowdhury said: "The change is welcome. He (Gogoi) is young and energetic and had visited Bengal several times and comes from the neighbouring state of Assam."
However, Bidhan Bhavan sources said the state Congress leaders were not very excited about the change citing his lack of experience. "The Congress has lost elections and weakened organisationally wherever Joshi took charge - Bengal, Bihar, Assam and different states of the Northeast. He had no connection with grassroots workers and is controlled from Delhi," said a former Congress leader.
A senior Congress MP said: "The fight in Bengal has to be fought by us and not by any AICC observer. It is good that he enjoys a lot of trust of the Congress president and is young. However, he lacks experience because of his age."
According to many in the state Congress, a senior leader should have been appointed as the Bengal minder, specially with the party facing serious threats organisationally from Trinamul.
Another section of leaders in the Congress argued that since Gogoi was close to Rahul Gandhi, Bengal's issues and voices would be heard more often than never.
In a tweet on Sunday, Gogoi said: "Thank you to Congress President Shri @RahulGandhi for allowing me to serve the party."
Outgoing AICC in-charge of Bengal, Joshi, too tweeted greeting the young MP.