Key 'letter-writer' Anand Sharma excluded from Himachal Cong panels

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New Delhi, Dec 23 (PTI) The Congress excluded senior leader and 'letter-writer' Anand Sharma on Wednesday in the new committees formed to ensure better coordination in its Himachal Pradesh unit.

The action comes two days after Congress president Sonia Gandhi held a key meeting and broke the ice by starting dialogue with some of the prominent 'letter-writers', who had earlier written to her demanding an overhaul of the party and an effective leadership.

Sharma is the lone MP of the Congress from Himachal Pradesh and the deputy leader of the party in the Rajya Sabha. He has also been a former Union minister, having held several portfolios, including Commerce Ministry.

The party announced the formation of the Political Affairs Committee (Election Strategy Committee) for Himachal Pradesh. It includes all prominent leaders from the state, except Sharma.

The 14-member panel includes state unit chief Kuldeep Rathore, Congress legislature party leader Mukesh Agnihotri, former chief minister Virbhadra Singh, former MP Viplove Thakur, Dhaniram Shandil, Sukhvinder Sukhu, Asha Kumari, Sudhir Sharma, G S Bali, Harshwardhan Chauhan, Ramlal Thakur and others.

The panel shall be presided over by the Congress' state incharge Rajiv Shukla.

Sharma's name is also missing from the state coordination committee, which also includes the Rathore and Agnihotri, besides Virbhadra Singh, Kaul Singh Thakur and some prominent leaders like Harsh Mahajan, Rajesh Dharmani, Chander Kumar, Suresh Chandel and Kuldeep Kumar.

The Congress president also approved the six-member disciplinary committee for state unit that will be chaired by Viplove Thakur, All India Congress Committee general secretary K C Venugopal said. PTI SKC HMB