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Sonia Gandhi reforms house panels for a new look Congress during Monsoon Session of the Parliament

The Rajya Sabha Committee will now include Ahmed Patel, KC Venugopal, and Jairam Ramesh.

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Sonia Gandhi reforms house panels for a new look Congress during Monsoon Session of the Parliament
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Congress president Sonia Gandhi has restructured Congress party panels in both the houses of the Parliament, ahead of the session starting September 14. She has included her confidants in the new five-member panel in Rajya Sabha, while elevated two young MPs to more senior positions in Lok Sabha. This also has an underline message to those who challenged her leadership in the recently wrote dissent letter. 

These panels would be responsible for forming the party's strategy in both the houses. As opposition Congress party needs to revisit its strategy. The Rajya Sabha Committee will now include Ahmed Patel, KC Venugopal, and Jairam Ramesh. Leader of Opposition in the upper house of Parliament Ghulam Nabi Azad and party's deputy leader Anand Sharma are already party of Rajya Sabha Committee. 

Ghulam Nabi Azad and Anand Sharma were signatories to the dissent letter which demanded a "full-time and visible" party president and an overhaul of the party. During the CWC meeting earlier this week, Azad and Sharma along with other signatories were attacked by party leaders, and some even called for action taken against them. 

Jai Ram Ramesh is now chief whip of the party in Rajya Sabha. The post had fallen vacant after former whip Bhubaneswar Kalita quit the party and joined Bhartiya Janata Party. Former union minister and Rajya Sabha MP Kapil Sibal were not included in the strategy forming the committee. Sibal was also one of the signatories of the dissent letter. 

This committee will strengthen the party's floor management by devising a better floor strategy in both the houses of the parliament. 

Former Assam CM Tarun Gogoi's son and Member of Parliament in Lok Sabha Gaurav Gogoi has been elevated to the deputy leader of the party in the house, while Ludhiana MP Ravneet Singh Bittu was made the party's whip. The two, along with the leader of the Congress in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, chief whip K Suresh and another whip Manickam Tagore would form a five-member Committee of floor leaders in the lower house.

Ravneet Singh Bittu is a three-time MP from Punjab and contemporary to Manish Tewari. He replaced Tewari from Ludhiana parliamentary seat, who is now MP from Anandpur Sahib. Bittu won Anandpur Sahib in 2009. Sources said that Tewari and Shashi Tharoor were aspiring for the position of chief whip of the party in Lok Sabha. 

Main opposition party Congress did not have a deputy leader in the lower house of the Parliament ever since Amarinder Singh quit the post for his new responsibility as chief minister of Punjab. 

Gogoi's elevation is been seen as early preparation for assembly polls in Assam due early next year. MP from Kaliabor Lok Sabha constituency, Gogoi was party's whip in the Lok Sabha till now. 

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