Party to keep appointments in seven states pending till the AICC president is elected.
NEW DELHI: With the Congress emerging as a minor alliance partner in Bihar’s newly formed government, it is expected to rejuvenate the party in the state. However, other than this new change, the party, for a long time, has been struggling, in the state and has failed to decide on the post of its state unit president, which has impeded its growth and demoralized the party’s cadre in the state. According to sources, Akhilesh Prasad Singh’s name has emerged as a strong contender for the position.
Akhilesh Prasad Singh, 60, is a Rajya Sabha member elected in 2018. Previously, in 2004, Singh, as a member of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), had won the Lok Sabha seat from Motihari. Later, he jumped to Congress to contest from Purvi Champaran in 2009 and lost. In 2014, he again got a ticket for general elections to contest from Muzaffarpur but lost again. Singh also lost the Bihar Legislative Assembly election in 2015 from Tarari constituency.
The Sunday Guardian tried to get in touch with Singh, who said that he doesn’t know anything about the matter.
A month ago, Rajesh Ram’s name was doing rounds for the position and his candidature for the role was also agreed upon by Rahul Gandhi. But, according to sources, it was a senior Congress leader who had stopped Ram’s ascendency at the last moment. Rajesh Ram is the MLA from Kutumba Assembly constituency in Aurangabad district and also chairman of the SC/ST cell of Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee.
Moreover, with the power shift in the state this week, the Congress will also try to balance its caste arithmetic, and position those castes in its ministerial berths which it thinks will mandate its electoral success in the coming elections.
According to a source, there would be four berths in the newly formed cabinet—current party president Madan Mohan Jha, Shakil Ahmad Khan, Ajit Sharma, and Rajesh Kumar Ram are likely to take oath as ministers. Other sources speculate, Vijay Shankar Dubey could also be up for consideration.
Furthermore, the party has decided to appoint four working presidents in the state, one of whom will be a Muslim. Meanwhile, the party has kept all decision-making over its pending appointments in seven states pending till its AICC president is elected, after which the party will decide on organisational shuffle in these state units, according to a party leader. The AICC president will soon be decided within two months, sources said.