NEW DELHI — Targeted by exiting leader Ghulam Nabi Azad as a coterie of personal assistants (PAs) and security officers who really run the Congress, Rahul Gandhi’s team comprises ex-bankers, business graduates and even a former SPG personnel.
Alankar Sawai, K. Raju, K.B. Byju, and Kaushal Vidhyarthi, along with Kanishka Singh, are said to close to Gandhi, and form his circle of advisers, who organise his schedule and even control access to him.
Let’s look at their backgrounds:
Sawai is an ex-bank executive and has been with Rahul Gandhi since long. He is the man who is the real player in Rahul Gandhi’s office, say party insiders, and controls access to Gandhi. He was handling the leader’s social media but has now moved to a bigger role in the office.
Byju is a former SPG officer who has been with Rahul for long and has been looking after his travel programme. He is also the interface with the media during Rahul’s tours and is calling the shots.
Raju is a former IAS officer from 1991 drafted into the NAC by late (undivided) Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Rajashekhar Reddy. He became close to Sonia Gandhi and now handles Rahul Gandhi’s social outreach especially to the OBCs, SCs and STs as he was the chairman of the Congress SC department.
Kanishka Singh has risen to a bigger role and is looking after the Congress trusts. He was in the Wharton Business School before moving to then Delhi Chief Minister, Sheila Dikshit’s office and later to Rahul Gandhi’s office. His father was an IFS officer.
Vidyarthi was educated in a foreign university and is the official PA of Rahul Gandhi. A mild mannered person, he always picks up the phone when called. He is also the target of Azad.
Sachin Rao, who is heading the Congress training cell, has moved out of Rahul Gandhi’s office but his advice is considered important. He has studied in the Michigan Business School.
Praveen Chakravarty, chairman of the data analytics department, is alleged to be reading all the data wrong as insiders say that he predicted a good number of seats in the 2019 elections but the actual results were something else. He worked with former Union Finance Minister Chidambaram and is responsible for social media analysis.
Rahul Gandhi’s political team of K.C. Venugopal, Randeep Surjewala and the state in-charges have been blamed for not delivering the states which went to the polls. In Uttarakhand, state in-charge Devendra Yadav, in Goa state in-charges Dinesh Gundu Rao, Girish Chodankar, in Punjab Ajay Maken and Harish Chaudhary all failed in the recent elections alongwith Priyanka Gandhi in Uttar Pradesh who relied on Sandeep Singh, Ajay Kumar Lallu and Aradhana Mishra. — IANS