New Delhi: The Congress on Sunday appointed senior party leader Ajay Maken as the new general secretary in-charge for Rajasthan, replacing Avinash Pande. Congress chief Sonia Gandhi also set up a three-member committee to resolve the issues raised by party rebels in Rajasthan.
Senior party leader Ahmed Patel, general secretary in-charge for Rajasthan Ajay Maken and general secretary organisation K C Venugopal have been made members of the panel.
"The Congress president has constituted a three-member committee to oversee and follow up the smooth resolution of recent issues in Rajasthan. The members of the committee are Ahmed Patel, AICC general secretary in-charge Organisation (K C Venugopal) and AICC general secretary in-charge of Rajasthan (Ajay Maken)," a party statement said.
The appointments come close on the heels of the Congress government in Rajasthan winning a crucial trust vote with the backing of former deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot and and his loyalist MLAs, who had revolted against Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot but later called a truce with the party after assurance by top party leadership.
An important part of the reconciliation plan was the Congress' announcement that a high-powered three-member committee would be formed to duly address the grievances of dissidents in a time-bound manner.
The Pilot camp has been seeking active participation in governance and flagging concerns over the "manner of functioning" of C M Gehlot. Pilot and other rebels welcomed the move and expressed hope that all their issues would be resolved.
Another statement by the party said, "Congress president has appointed Ajay Maken as the general secretary in-charge of Rajasthan in place of Avinash Pande with immediate effect."
"The party appreciates the contribution of Avinash Pande," it said.
Maken was recently sent as observer by the party to Rajasthan, along with party chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala, to help resolve the differences and save the government from the possibility of losing its majority in the state assembly.
Maken was earlier the Delhi Congress chief but had resigned citing health reasons.
Gehlot welcomes Maken's appointment
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Sunday welcomed Congress president Sonia Gandhi's decision to appoint senior party leader Ajay Maken as the new general secretary in-charge for Rajasthan.
"I welcome the decision of Sonia Gandhi ji to appoint Ajay Maken as AICC General Secretary in-charge of Rajasthan," Gehlot said in a tweet.
In another tweet, he said, "I congratulate Maken and hope that his vast organisational experience will help strengthen the party and energise party workers in the state. Eagerly looking forward to working with him."
Gehlot also thanked the outgoing national general secretary and state in-charge Avinash Pande for his support.
"My heartiest thanks to Avinash Pandey ji for his valuable support and guidance as the AICC in-charge of Rajasthan. His efforts to establish coordination between the party organisation and the govt have been highly commendable. I wish him all the best," he said.