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Congress expands team of spokespersons, TV panelists

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New Delhi: Ajay Maken, C P Joshi, Satyavrat Chaturvedi and Shakeel Ahmed were made senior spokespersons by Congress today in a major reshuffle that also saw President Pranab Mukherjee’s daughter Sharmistha Mukherjee being named as one of 31 panelists for TV.

Besides the four senior spokespersons, 17 others, including film star Khushboo, were made spokespersons of the party in the exercise seen as a precursor to the much-talked about anointment of Rahul Gandhi as the party chief.

The four senior spokespersons are in addition to the existing team of Anand Sharma, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mukul Wasnik, P Chidambaram and Salman Khurshid.

The team of spokespersons is headed by Randeep Singh Surjewala in the capacity of Communication Department In-Charge. Earlier, Maken was the Chairman of the Media Department.

With this, the party now has 36 spokespersons, including senior spokespersons, who are expected to tone up Congress’ media outreach.

The new spokespersons include party MPs Deepender Hooda, Gaurav Gogoi, Rajiv Satav, Sushmita Deb, RPN Singh and Tom Vadakkan, who has been party’s media secretary for over a decade. Other spokespersons include a minister in Karnataka government Dinesh Gundu Rao.

Bhakta Charan Das and Meem Afzal, who were spokespersons earlier, made a comeback after several months.

Priyanka Chaturvedi, who was TV panelist of the party, have also been brought in as spokespersons. Others in the list of new spokespersons include Rajya Sabha MPs P L Punia, Rajiv Gowda and Rajni Patil and ex MPs Madhu Goud Yakshi and Vijay Inder Singla.

They will be spokespersons in addition to the existing team of Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Ajoy Kumar, Jyotiraditya Scindia, P C Chacko, Raj Babbar, Rita Bahuguna Joshi, Sandeep Dikshit, Sanjay Jha, Shaktisinh Gohil and Shobha Oza.

The list of new media panelists has former Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari, Rajiv Shukla, former Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde’s daughter Praniti Shinde, Jammu and Kashmir PCC chief Saifuddin Soz’s son Salman Soz, late former Union Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh’s son Amit Deshmukh, late Vice President Krishna Kant’s son Rashmi Kant Maharashtra spokesperson Anant Gadgil, who is son of Congress veteran V N Gadgil.

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