Jaipur: Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday appointed Dr Chandrabhan, a key aide to Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, as the president of the Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee.  The appointment was due for the last two years.

While the appointment of Chandrabhan signals the clout which the Chief Minister commands in the party, the announcement comes as a setback for the Union Rural Development Minister and working PCC chief CP Joshi and other Jat leaders who are part of the anti-Gehlot lobby.

Leaders from the state like Sisram Ola, the deputy leader of Congress in Lok Sabha, have been lobbying in the national capital against passing on the baton to Chandrabhan. CP Joshi was instead pushing for names like party MP Lalchand Kataria and Dr Raghu Sharma for the top post.

However, Ashok Gehlot managed to persuade the party high command to announce a person of his choice to be the next state party president.

The appointment comes after a two year wait that had divided the party from top to bottom, with different lobbies pushing for the candidates of their liking. The delay in appointment of the party chief had stalled other appointments including names of other office bearers of the party and chiefs of several government board and corporations.

The appointment would now pave way for rejig in the state Cabinet as well other high profile appointments in the government and the party.

JPN Bureau