Congress appoints Harish Chaudhary as party's Punjab in-charge, Harish Rawat's term ends
Rawat, a former chief minister of Uttarakhand, had reiterated over the past two months that he wants to be relieved of the charge which the party has given to him in Punjab. The 73-year-old wants to concentrate in his home-state Uttarakhand, where Congress is eyeing a return to power after five years.
October 22, 2021 / 03:20 PM IST
File image of Harish Rawat (Twitter/@harishrawatcmuk)
The Congress on October 22 announced the appointment of senior party leader Harish Chaudhary as its in-charge of the poll-bound state of Punjab.
With this announcement, the tenure of incumbent Congress' Punjab in-charge Harish Rawat has come to an end.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi "has appointed Harish Chaudhary as AICC in-charge of Punjab and Chandigarh with immediate effect", party general secretary KC Venugopal said in a statement.
"Harish Rawat is being relieved from his current responsibility as AICC general secretary in-charge of Punjab and Chandigarh. He shall continue to be a member of the CWC (Congress Working Committee)," Venugopal added.
Chaudhary, who replaces Rawat, is a state minister in the Congress-headed Rajasthan government.
Rawat presided over as the party's Punjab in-charge during a tumultuous period, which saw the exit of Captain Amarinder Singh as the chief minister following a bitter feud with rival Navjot Singh Sidhu and a section of Congress MLAs.
Since then, Rawat and Singh - both Congress veterans - have exchanged heated barbs. Earlier this week, Rawat accused the former Punjab CM of abandoning the principle of secularism by considering to ally with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). This elicited a sharp response from Singh, who said "Congress is no one to talk about secularism" after inducting leaders with Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) background.
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Notably, Rawat, a former chief minister of Uttarakhand, had reiterated over the past two months that he wants to be relieved of the charge which the party has given to him in Punjab.
The 73-year-old wants to concentrate in home-state Uttarakhand, where Congress is eyeing a return to power after five years. Both Punjab and Uttarakhand will go to the polls early next year.