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LS 2009: The 100 people who matter in the Congress

February 20, 2009 16:35 IST

They are Congress President Sonia Gandhi's field marshals -- the 100 men and women who will drive the party's campaign in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections.

The "war team" announced on Thursday night included state-wise screening committees constituted under the leadership of a dozen leaders for selection of candidates. The All India Congress Committee general secretary or Congress Working Committee member in-charge of the state, Pradesh Congress Committee president and the chief ministers or Congress Legislature Party leaders are members of these committees, which will be headed by a chairperson.

The names, which include 38 secretaries, include some surprises and lesser-known faces like Rajya Sabha member and former PCC President Shataram  Naik from Goa, Praveen Rashtrapal, Mirza Baig and Nirmal Khatri from Gujarat and Moolchand Meena and Harendra Mirdha from Rajasthan.

Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh comes to the central stage as one of the CWC members while also getting the responsibility of steering party to victory in the state as chairman of the state election management committee.

Another former Chief Minister Luizinho Faleiro from Goa is among the permanent invitees to the CWC who are as good as the CWC members. He has been also given charge of four north eastern states of Manipur, Mizoram, Meghalaya and Sikkim. Assisting him will be secretary Major Ved Prakash.

General Secretary B K Hariprasad of Karnataka has been given the additional responsibility as the AICC in-charge of Madhya Pradesh, besides his current charge of Gujarat, Goa, Daman and Diu and Dadra Naar Haveli, will be assisted in the task by two secretaries -- P Sudhakar Reddy and Dwijendra Nath Sarma.

Defence Minister A K Antony who has been retained as in-charge of Maharashtra, just one state under him, will have two secretaries -- Praveen Rashtrapal and Mohan Prakash.

General Secretary Mukul Wasnik gets secretaries Vivek Bansal and Mehboob Ali Kaisar in his task as in-charge of Rajasthan and Delhi while secretaries Pravin Davar and K Hanumantha Rao will be assisting General Secretary Prithviraj Chavan in Jammu and Kashmir and Haryana.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi heads the screening committees for Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Sikkim with former general secretary Margaret Alva and states' in-charge Luizinho Faleiro as its members. This is seen as a small comeback of Alva, sacked as the general secretary two months ago.

The Maharashtra committee is headed by Mallikarjun Kharge, with Chaudhary Birendra Singh of Haryana and state in-charge A K Antony as the members.

Former general secretary Janardhan Poojary heads the committees for Gujarat, Goa, Madhya Pradesh, Dadra Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, with former Mumbai PCC chief Gurudas Kamat and state in-charge B K Hariprasad as members.

Hariprsad is himself chairman of the committees for Jammu and Kashmir and Haryana, with Anand Sharma and in-charge general secretary Prithviraj Chavan as the members.

Former spokesman Satyavrat Chaturvedi from Madhya Pradesh heads the committees for Rajasthan and Delhi, with Professor P J Kurien and state in-charge Mukul Wasnik as the members.

Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee is chairman of the committee that will screen the candidates for Lok Sabha and assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh, with Oscar Fernandes and state in-charge Veerappa Moily as members. Mukherjee also heads the committee for Assam.

Former Home Minister Shivraj Patil heads the committees for selection o candidates in Chhattisgarh, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Tripura. Assisting him will be Union minister Ambika Soni and states' in-charge V Narayansamy.

General Secretary Mukul Wasnik is chairman of the committees constituted for West Bengal, Jharkhand and Tripura, while another General Secretary Janardan Dwivedi heads committees for Punjab, Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh and Lakshadweep, with Kumari Shelja and in-charge general secretary Mohsina Kidwai as members.

Defence Minister A K Antony heads the screening committees of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Orissa and Puduchery and assisting him as members will be Prithviraj Chavan and in-charge general secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad. Treasurer Motilal Vora has been made chairman of the committee for Uttarakhand, with former minister Jagdish Tytler and in-charge CWC member R K Dhawan as members.