Jairam to helm Congress communication


Pho Credit Twitter Jairam Ramesh

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By Our Special Correspondent

New Delhi, June 16: In a development which sheds light on the power play within the Congress, the grand old party late Thursday evening appointed former Union Minister Jairam Ramesh as the chief of its communication department.

Ramesh is known to have enjoyed the support of both the Congress’ interim chief Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi. But he’s more of a Sonia loyalist than Rahul camp follower.

The Congress national general secretary K C Venugopal, a key Rahul Gandhi aide, issued a media statement, saying that Ramesh will henceforth be the communication department head in place of Randeep Singh Surjewala.

Both Ramesh and Surjewala were re-elected to the Rajya Sabha from Karnataka and Rajsthan respectively.

The appointment of Ramesh to the key position is significant as he’s well into 60s and not as younger as Surjewala. Also, Ramesh a Congress man with no camp tag cannot be easily slotted into a Rahul Gandhi coterie since he’s known to speak his mind freely.

Ramesh is known in the media circle for being the speech writer for Sonia Gandhi and occasionally he has done this for Rahul Gandhi also.

While being a Kannadiga, Ramesh, an ex-IAS officer, is very fond of Hindi, and while being Union Minister for Rural Development in the Manmohan Singh government he has been known to have picked his Hindi skills from a few Hindi newspaper journalists.

While holding out in the Krishi Bhavan, Ramesh has spent much time working on schemes and initiatives for the welfare of tribal in Chhatisgarh and Jharkhand. He had even got the Sukma collector Alex Paul Menon, who was abducted by the Maoists, to work in his ministry as an OSD (officer on special duty). That makes Ramesh a true fit for the Congress’ tribal and rural constituency.

Within the media fraternity, Ramesh has many friends, as he over the years cultivated a number of friends in the national and regional newspapers to optimize his reach in targeted areas.

A prolific book writer, Ramesh has authored a number of books after the UPA lost power in 2014, while he had previously been a regular columnist.

He regularly consulted former President Pranab Mukherjee when he served as a minister in the UPA government.

‘I am a political animal’ is Ramesh’s punchline which he dishes out regularly during interactions with his media friends.

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