PCC chiefs appointed, may be key to polls

The Congress on Tuesday virtually projected its “leaders” in the election-going states by appointing Pradesh Congress Committee chiefs.
While former chief minister Amarinder Singh will rejuvenate the party in Punjab, the renomination of PCC presidents in West Bengal, Assam, Kerala and Puducherry is a clear message that they would play a role after the polls.

The continuation of Ms Rita Bahuguna Joshi as the Uttar Pradesh Congress chief is a positive message to the upper castes in the state.
In the politically sensitive state of Karnataka, it has appointed a loyalist and dalit leader, G. Parmeshwar, as the PCC chief in place of Mr R.V. Deshpande.
The Karnataka Congress leaders have been suggesting that the high command should consolidate its support base among the SC, ST, OBC and minority constituency rather than relying on former Janata Parivar leaders.
Dr Parmeshwar’s appointment has shown that the party is going back to the basics at a time when the BJP government is surviving on technical grounds.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi approved the names of 11 PCC presidents and results of the seven PCC chiefs in the key border states.
The renomination of Mr Manas Ranjan Bhunia (West Bengal), Mr Ramesh Chennithala (Kerala), Mr Bhubaneshwar Kalita (Assam) and Mr A.V. Subramaniam (Puducherry) is significant. This because these states are going to the polls next year. The Congress is in the Opposition in Punjab, West Bengal and Kerala and is optimistic of coming back to power.
The Congress will get a deputy chief minister’s post in West Bengal if the Trinamul Congress and the Congress go to the polls unitedly and win the historic battle. In that situation Mr Bhunia could get a deputy chief ministership.
Capt. Amarinder Singh is already seen as a chief ministerial candidate in Punjab. He is a fighter and give the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP combine a run for its money in the next two years.
Mr Ramesh Chennithala is also an aspirant in Kerala while it would be interesting to see whether incumbent Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi would get a third term if the party retains power for a third time consecutively.
Mr Kalita is obviously aspiring for the top post.
The Congress chief also maintained a status quo in nine status and thereby gave a second term to Mr J.P. Aggarwal (Delhi), Mr Kaul Singh Thakur (Himachal Pradesh), Mr Yeshpal Arya (Uttarakhand) and Mr B.B. Bahal (Chandigarh), besides others.
Capt. Amarinder Singh, who has served as chief minister of Punjab from 2002 to 2007, replaces Mahendra Singh Kaypee in the Akali Dal-BJP-ruled state, which goes to polls in 2012.
His appointment has come at a time when the ruling Akali Dal is grappling with a family feud in the Badal clan.
State unit elections were held for the post of PCC presidents in several northeastern states as also in Lakshadweep and Andaman and Nicobar Island while in others the party units had authorised Mrs Sonia Gandhi to name their new chiefs, passing a one-line resolution in this regard.

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