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Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday, August 21 effected some key changes in the party set up, appointing Ahmed Patel as its new treasurer in place of Motilal Vora, before leaving for a four-day tour of London and Berlin to interact with the Indian diaspora.

Vora, who is 89, was one of the longest-serving treasurers of the party, was made AICC general secretary administration, a newly-created post.

Patel, who turned 69 on Tuesday, was earlier the political secretary of former party chief Sonia Gandhi. He had earlier served as the AICC treasurer from 1996 to 2000. Patel’s appointment as treasurer comes at a time when the party is struggling for funds ahead 2019 polls. Earlier, the Congress had, via their Twitter handle, asked for donations.

Rahul Gandhi also appointed former Union minister Anand Sharma, 65, as the chairperson of the party’s foreign affairs department replacing 87-year-old Karan Singh.

Former speaker Meira Kumar, who unsuccessfully contested the presidential election as the United Progressive Alliance’s nominee last year, was made a permanent invitee to the Congress Working Committee (CWC), the highest decision-making body of the party.

Another significant change was removal of CP Joshi as general secretary. He was seen to be responsible for the decline of the party in the Northeast where the BJP and its allies rule seven out of the eight States.

Replacing him is Luizinho Falerio, who was appointed as AICC general secretary in-charge of the north-eastern states, except Assam.

Harish Rawat had been appointed as the general secretary in charge of Assam.

“The party appreciates the hard work and contribution of Motilal Vora as treasurer of the party,” AICC general secretary, organisation, Ashok Gehlot said in a statement.

In another statement, he also appreciated the contribution made by Karan Singh as chairperson of the AICC foreign affairs department and Joshi as general secretary of north-eastern states.

The changes come a month after Rahul Gandhi restructured the party set up and dropped veterans such as Digvijaya Singh, Sushikumar Shinde, Janardhan Dwivedi and CP Joshi from the all-powerful CWC and appointed some new faces in their place.

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