Rahul made key member of Congress 2014 poll panel

New Delhi, Nov 15: Rahul Gandhi will be a key member of the Congress coordination panel for the 2014 general elections constituted by party chief Sonia Gandhi Thursday, the party announced.

Congress general secretary Janardan Dwivedi in a release said Rahul Gandhi, who already has a de facto number 2 status in the party, has been included in the crucial Election Coordination Committee for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

Among other members of the panel are Sonia Gandhi’s political adviser Ahmed Patel, party general secretaries Janardan Dwivedi, Digvijaya Singh, Madhusudan Mistry and Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh.

The Congress president also formed three sub−groups on specific issues such as pre−poll alliances, manifesto and government programmes, and communications and publicity.

The announcement on the groups was made at the party’s ‘Samvad Baithak’ (Dialogue Session) held at Surajkund, a town bordering Delhi in Haryana, Nov 4.

Among the members of the sub−group on pre−poll alliances are Defence Minister A.K. Antony, Petroleum Minister M. Veerappa Moily, Minister for Youth Affairs Jitendra Singh besides senior leaders Suresh Pachauri, Mohan Prakash and Mukul Wasnik, who recently left the ministry of social justice to work for the party.

Besides Antony, the panel on manifesto and government programmes includes Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid and Commerce Minister Anand Sharma.

The panel would also have Congress spokespersons Sandeep Dikshit and Renuka Chowdhury besides senior leader Ajit Jogi, MP P.L. Punia and special invitee Mohan Gopal.

Besides Digvijaya Singh, senior leader Ambika Soni, who recently left the information and broadcasting ministry to work for the party, has been included in the sub−group on communications and publicity.

Among other members of the panel are Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari, Power Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs and Planning Rajeev Shukla and MPs Deepender Hooda and Bhakta Charan Das.

IANS