Congress War Room Gets A New Address In Delhi After 18 Years

New Delhi: The Congress party’s operational center for election preparations, earlier located in a lush corner of Central Delhi, has now shifted to the heart of Lutyens’ Delhi, situated in a bungalow adjacent to Khan Market.

This marks the war room’s first address change in 18 years. Ahead of the 2004 Lok Sabha elections, Congress leaders conducted operations from 99 South Avenue. Around 2006, the party shifted its war room to the bungalow at 15 Gurdwara Rakabganj Road (GRG).

Bungalow number 15 was assigned to the Congress party’s Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament Pradip Bhattacharyya, who retired in August last year. Consequently, the Congress began looking for a new location for its war room, and finally shifted to a two-storied bungalow at C 1/10, Subramania Bharti Marg. The building was allotted to Uttam Kumar Reddy, a minister in Telangana. He was allocated the bungalow during his tenure as a Rajya Sabha member.

Typically, former members are granted a grace period to vacate their official residence. It’s probable that the war room will relocate after the elections, as this bungalow is expected to be reassigned to a new Rajya Sabha member.

Sasikanth Senthil, a former Karnataka cadre IAS officer who transitioned into a Congress party member after resigning from the civil services in 2019, is at the helm of the war room.

“I really cannot say why we changed the address. That is a decision taken by the top leadership of the party. My job is operations. I can’t say anything beyond this,” Senthil said, declining to comment on the activities of the war room.

In addition to Senthil, who led the party’s war room in Karnataka during the state polls last year, the team includes Gokul Butail, a Congress joint secretary who previously worked as an engineer, Naveen Sharma from the Delhi unit, Varun Santosh, a party worker, as well as Captain (Retd) Arvind Kumar and Vaibhav Walia, the Hindustan Times reported.

Two senior party leaders said that Congress strategists convene regularly in the war room, which also accommodates the party’s social media team and several other groups. In the previous war room setup, distinguished leaders like the late Ahmed Patel had their own designated offices.

The Congress is also strategising to establish state-level war rooms for the upcoming elections. On January 4, a comprehensive plan outlining the establishment of these state-level war rooms was deliberated upon in a meeting presided over by Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge.

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