Sonia Gandhi forms 2024 general election task force; names Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma among her advisers

Former Kishor aide part of poll task force

Sonia Gandhi forms 2024 general election task force; names Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma among her advisers

Ghulam Nabi Azad and Anand Sharma. Tribune file

Tribune News Service

Aditi Tandon

New Delhi, May 24

Nine days after the Udaipur Declaration of the Congress pledged to take the internal party reform process forward with an eye on the upcoming state and 2024 general election, party president Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday formed two groups—task force for 2024 election and political advisory group.

She had announced both during her concluding remarks at the Udaipur Chintan Shivir.

G23 leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Anand Sharma have been included in the eight-member political advisory group alongside Rahul Gandhi, Ambika Soni, Digvijaya Singh, Mallikarjun Kharge, KC Venugopal and Jitendra Singh.

The group will be an advisory forum with the final and collective decision-making still to rest with the CWC.

Sonia had accepted to form this group but declined the G23 demand to reconstitute the Central Parliamentary Board as provided in the Congress constitution. The board is a sub group of the CWC but has the power to take major policy decisions.

The eight-member task force comprises P Chidambaram, Mukul Wasnik, Jairam Ramesh, Priyanka Vadra, Randeep Surjewala, KC Venugopal, Ajay Maken and Sunil Kanugolu.

Kanugolu, a former Prashant Kishor aide, is an interesting entry and was part of the BJP’s 2017 UP election strategy group.

He is founder of A Billion Minds and recently joined the Congress.

The official orders say each member of the task force will be assigned independent roles ranging from organisation, communications and media, outreach, finance and election management. They will also have assigned teams, to be notified later.

“The task force will follow up on Udaipur declaration and the reports of the six groups,” the orders say.

The task force constitution is likely to be debated as the group would be the top body expected to deliver results for Congress at the hustings.

Sonia has also announced a central planning group for coordination of Bharat Jodo Yatra.

This has among members Digvijaya Singh, Ravneet Bittu, Sachin Pilot, Shashi Tharoor, Joti Mani, KJ George, Tripura Congress ex-chief Pradyot Bordoloi, Jitu Patwalia and Saleem Ahmed.

The eight-member task force for 2024 does not have a single Lok Sabha MP, with Chidambaram, Ramesh and Venugopal all Rajya Sabha MPs.

Maken, Vadra and Surjewala are general secretaries of the party. Vadra is yet to contest an election.

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