Less than a week after he was elected to the Rajya Sabha, Randeep Surjewala, AICC general Secretary was “thankfully relieved’’ from his position of the Chief Spokesman and Head of Communication Department. Instead, Jairam Ramesh, who was also renominated to the Rajya Sabha by his party in the recent elections, was handed over the charge. The decision to replace Surjewala who served as the Chief Spokesman for over seven years, was apparently taken by Sonia Gandhi, at the instance of Rahul Gandhi, who appears to be determined to give his party a new face. Jairam Ramesh, has enough experience and is known for his articulation and grasp over multiple issues and has exceptional drafting skills. His appointment can also be seen in the context of next year’s Karnataka Assembly elections since he belongs to the Southern State where the Congress could form the government, if all goes well. A few months ago, Jairam was criticized by his senior colleagues when he took a pot shot at Ghulam Nabi Azad but other than that, he has always been very guarded and cautious in his approach to politics. The High Command had been unhappy with the way the communication department has been functioning and particularly in view of the successful social media domination by the BJP’s IT cell. Thus, the first task before the new Chief Spokesman would be to put together his team and bring in fresh faces, who do not invite hostility amongst party cadres. He shall also have to put in place, a sound media strategy in order to put across the party’s point of view. Many of the spokespersons who represent the Congress on TV debates, are oblivious of the Congress history and often speak without knowing the full facts of the issues. Therefore, he shall have to ensure that the party line which gets articulated in debates is consistent with the Congress thinking and establishes some sort of a connect with the general viewer. Jairam’s limitation would be his weak grasp over Hindi and to fill this gap, he shall have to bring in panelists who can speak effectively in Hindi and other regional languages when they are representing the Congress. What has been happening so far is that Congress spokespersons allow the BJP to score brownie points due to their lack of preparation. There are also some commonsense issues. For instance, when they debate is on the Ram Temple, the Congress should have a well-versed Brahmin with a Tilak on his forehead who can take on the BJP instead of fielding a Muslim representative, thus conceding the confrontation to the Saffron party by falling in its trap. Jairam shall also have to commission senior leaders in the communication panel. For instance, Abhishek Manu Singhvi always scores when he speaks on legal matters. Overall, the short point is that the party line should always be pursued and that would need to be spelt out clearly to the panelists of the communication department. In the past, there have been some outstanding spokespersons, V.N.Gadgil, V.B.Raju and Janardhan Dwivedi amongst them. For Surjewala, he shall now have to be content with his responsibilities as the party general secretary incharge of Karnataka, unless, the High Command shifts him elsewhere.