Congress appoints new spokespersons, media panellists

New Delhi: The Congress, in an effort to expand its media outreach, on Tuesday brought in many articulate and young faces as spokespersons while appointing Ajay Maken, C.P. Joshi, Satyavrat Chaturvedi and Shakeel Ahmed as senior spokespersons.

The reshuffle, coming amid speculation about possible elevation of party vice president Rahul Gandhi as president, saw the appointment of 17 new spokespersons.

Sharmishtha Mukherjee, daughter of President Pranab Mukherjee, was made a media panellist and will represent the party's viewpoint in television debates.

Actor Khushboo is now a party spokesperson.

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

The appointments were made within days of Randeep Singh Surjewala being made in-charge of the party's communications department.

The new spokespersons include party MPs Deepender Hooda, Gaurav Gogoi, P.L. Punia, Rajiv Gowda, Rajiv Satav, Rajni Patil and Sushmita Deb.

Former parliamentarians R.P.N. Singh, Vijay Inder Singla and Bhakta Charan Das are also in the list of spokespersons.

Tom Vadakkan, who has been the party's media secretary for several years, has been made a spokesperson along with Dinesh Gundu Rao, a former Karnataka minister.

Meem Afzal has made a comeback as spokesperson.

Priyanka Chaturvedi, who has represented the party's viewpoint in TV debates, has been brought in as a spokesperson.

The Congress appears to have also kept in view representation of various regions in appointment of spokespersons.

The new spokespersons will be 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 31 new media panellists includes former union ministers Manish Tewari and Rajiv Shukla.

Many TV faces of the party are also in the list. These include Brijesh Kalappa, Jaivir Shergill, C.R. Kesavan, Salman Soz, Ami Yagnik and Ragini Nayak.

The list also includes Praniti Shinde, Akhilesh Pratap Singh, Sanjay Nirupam Alok Sharma, Amit Deshmukh, Anant Gadgil, Ashok Tanwar, Bhalchandra Mungerkar, Chandan Yadav, Charan Singh Sapra, Devvrat Singh, Hussain Dalwai, Jitu Sharma, Mukesh Nayak, Nadeem Javed, Naseer Hussain, Prem Chand Mishra, Ranjita Ranjan, Rashmi Kant, Sandeep Chaudhary, and Vishnu.

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