In the run-up to the assembly elections in Chhattisgarh due later this year, the All India Congress Committee announced four new committees, including the core committee and the election campaign committee.
Charandas Mahant, one of the senior-most Congress leaders in the state and the current assembly speaker, has been named head of the election campaign committee.
His appointment follows two more recent developments — TS Singh Deo being named as the Deputy Chief Minister and Tamradhwaj Sahu being inducted into the Congress Working Committee — and is understood to be a move to convey that all top leaders were being given roles commensurate with their stature.
Notably, all the three leaders were being talked about as possible chief ministerial candidates during the 2018 campaign and after the results that followed but it was current Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel who was eventually handed the reins of the State.
Mahant has been a Union Minister, a minister in undivided Madhya Pradesh as well as in the first Congress government under Ajit Jogi in Chhattisgarh. He hails from the Janjgir-Champa region where Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge attended a public meeting last month.
The 74-member campaign committee has ministers, many sitting MLAs and MPs, including Mohan Markam, the former PCC president who was replaced with Deepak Baij recently.
Meanwhile, among the other committees approved by AICC president Kharge, party’s state in-charge Kumari Selja will head the core committee that also has as members, Baghel, Mahant, Singh Deo and State Unit president Deepak Baij. The two other committees include the 15-member communications committee headed by Agriculture Minister Ravindra Choubey and the 25-member protocol committee headed by Culture Minister Amarjeet Bhagat.