Congress media team undergoes major rejig

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New Delhi:  In a major rejig in Congress' media team, Union Ministers P Chidambaram, Salman Khurshid, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma and AICC general secretary Mukul Wasnik were made senior spokespersons as the party set up new teams of spokespersons and television panelists.

The 13-member team of spokespersons includes Union Minister Shashi Tharoor, who is in the media glare after his wife Sunanda Pushkar's sudden death.

Party MP Abhishek Singhvi, who was dropped over a CD controversy in May 2012, is back as spokesperson while Bhakta Charan Das has been dropped from the list.

Meem Afzal, who was one of the national spokespersons of AICC media team is also out, but he has been accommodated in the 24-member Congress team of television panelists.

The need to strengthen the media team of AICC was being felt for a long time and it has been an area of focus for party Vice President Rahul Gandhi, who was instrumental in organising a series of media workshops and talent hunt to scout new media faces for Congress.

AICC general secretary in-charge and Communication Department Chairman Ajay Maken said the party's regular press briefings will held five days a week in place of three days now and the time has been changed from 4.15 PM to 2 PM.

Union Ministers Jyotiraditya Scindia, Mahila Congress chief Shobha Oza, former UPCC chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi, Haryana minister Randip Surjewala, former CLP leader of Gujarat Shaktisinh Gohil, Rajya Sabha MP Satyavrat Chaturvedi and Sanjay Jha are new spokespersons, while P C Chacko, Raj Babbar and Sandeep Dikshit have been retained.

Union Ministers Manish Tewari and Rajiv Shukla are among the 24 new television panelists. The list includes Rahul Gandhi's aides Ashok Tanwar, Meenakshi Natarajan and Mukesh Nayak, besides Salman Soz and Anant Gadgil.

The party has set up a 30-member team of television panelists to speak on state issues. They are besides the five senior spokespersons, 13 spokespersons and 24 media panelists to speak on national issues.

Surjewala and Oza had briefed from the AICC on a couple of occasions and there were indications that they would be inducted.

Similarly Singhvi, who was dropped as spokesperson in 2012 was inducted as a television panelists a couple of months back and was invited to brief from the AICC podium once.



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