Hindustan Times (Delhi)
Rahul picks new head of his core team
NEW DELHI: Congress president Rahul Gandhi has handpicked former bureaucrat Koppula Raju as the new head of his core team, party functionaries familiar with the matter said on Thursday.
The 61-year-old Raju, who will now work from the Congress president’s 12 Tughlaq Lane residence, is an important Dalit face in the party and has headed its Scheduled Castes department since August 2013, working out of Congress HQ at 24 Akbar Road in the capital.
“Raju will be assisted in his new role by a team of professionals and young party leaders in handling Gandhi’s official work,” a party official said on condition of anonymity. “He is already in the process of finalising his team.”
Another senior official who asked not to be named said that Haryana Congress chief Ashok Tanwar is likely to replace Raju as the head of the party’s Scheduled Castes department, while former union minister Kumari Selja, a prominent woman Dalit face of the party, could be appointed as the new head of the Haryana Congress.
A 1981-batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer from the Andhra Pradesh cadre, Raju chose voluntary retirement in 2013. He was then serving as sec- retary in the National Advisory Council (NAC), a body set up by the then United Progressive Alliance government with then Congress president Sonia Gandhi as its chairperson.
The NAC, which ceased to exist soon after the NDA government came to power in 2014, was responsible for preparing the drafts of key legislative initiatives such as the Right to Information Act, Right to Education Act, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employee Guarantee Act and the Food Security bill.