New Delhi: Congress chief Sonia Gandhi
today replaced PCC presidents in Punjab and Karnataka,bringing
in former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and dalit leader G
Parmeshwar while retaining Rita Bahuguna Joshi and Ramesh
Chennithala as head of UP and Kerala state units respectively.
In West Bengal, where polls are due next year, Manas
Ranjan Bhunia will remain the PCC chief while suspense remains
over the fate of Maharashtra PCC president Manikrao Thakre who
has recently been in the eye of a storm following a sting
operation purportedly recording his remarks about collection
of money for a party rally.
JP Agrawal of Delhi, Bhubaneshwar Kalita of Assam,
Kaul Singh Thakur of Himachal Pradesh and B B Bahal of
Chandigarh and A V Subramaniam of Puduchery and Yashpal Arya
of Uttarakhand are among those who have been retained by
Gandhi who named 18 PCC chiefs today.
68-year-old 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.
Parmeshwar replaces R V Deshpande in Karnataka, the
only south Indian state where BJP is in power. Parmeshwar is
a dalit leader, who is a former CWC member and an ex-minister
State unit elections were held for post of PCC
president in several Northeastern states as also in
Lakshadweep and Andaman and Nicobar Island while in others the
party units had authorised Gandhi to name their new chiefs,
passing a one-line resolution in this regard.
S I Jamir has been elected as PCC chief in Nagaland
defeating I Imkong.
No decision has been taken on the fate of Siddharth
Patel, who resigned as Gujarat PCC chief after Narendra Modi
led BJP handed down a crushing defeat to the Congress in the
civic and panchayat polls in the state.
Similarly, PCC chief for Rajasthan has not been
announced even as C P Joshi continues to hold dual charge as
Union Minister and state party President.
In the Northeast, those who retained their post
through elections include Nabam Tuki in Arunachal Pradesh,
Gaikhangam in Manipur, Friday Lyngdoh (Meghalaya) and
Kuldeep Sharma has been elected to the post of PCC
President in Andaman and Nicobar Islands while Ponnikam
Shaikhoya has been elected in Lakshadweep.