Sharmistha Mukherjee
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New Delhi: Sharmistha Mukherjee, daughter of former President Pranab Mukherjee, has resigned from the post of communications head for the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee.

Mukherjee’s resignation came hours after state Congress chief Sheila Dikshit appointed former Delhi government minister Ramakant Goswami the chairperson of the media coordination committee for the city-state for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Although Mukherjee was made part of this committee in her capacity as the head of a frontal organisation, the Delhi Mahila Congress, her name was missing from the publicity committee to be headed by Somesh Shokeen.

This came about a month after Dikshit replaced Ajay Maken as president of the DPCC.

“As new media committees were being formed, I decided to resign from the post. I met and requested Dikshitji to relieve me of this responsibility. I will continue to head the Mahila Congress in Delhi and as elections are approaching there is more work to be done now,” Mukherjee told ThePrint.

“It is the prerogative of the Delhi Congress to decide who will head what. I am very much with the party and attended a programme in Madipur today.”

The ‘trigger’

According to a senior Congress leader, who did not want to be named, after taking over the reins of the party last month, Dikshit has been revamping several departments. On 22 January, she appointed Goswami and former leader of the House in the erstwhile Municipal Corporation of Delhi, Jitender Kochar, as spokespersons for the media and communication department.

“Sharmistha was not taken in the loop about these appointments. That could have been a trigger for her resignation,” said the leader.

Delhi Congress leaders, however, maintained that there was “no bad blood” between Dikshit and Mukherjee, as the latter also understood the former chief minister’s desire to revamp the organisation.

In the new committees for the Lok Sabha elections formed Thursday, Dikshit has rehabilitated her old lieutenants such as Goswami, Kiran Walia, A.K. Walia and Haroon Yusuf, among others. Maken has been appointed chairman of the manifesto committee, while Dikshit’s son and former MP Sandeep Dikshit figures as a member of many committees.


Also read: Modi’s projection in Delhi will not work for BJP in Lok Sabha polls, says Sheila Dikshit


 

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  1. One does not know how well Ms Sharmistha Mukherjee can work at the grassroots. If she has those skills and temperament, she could be entrusted responsibility for reviving the Congress in Bengal. If the BJP finds it promising ground, no reason why the Congress should not set about patiently rebuilding its organisation and presence in the state.

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