Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury to lead Congress in Lok Sabha
New Delhi, June 18: West Bengal MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury has been appointed as the Congress party's leader in the Lok Sabha, said reports.
There was a speculation earlier that Chowdhury or Kerala unit working president K Suresh could be made the leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha. Both had attended attended the all-party meeting along with Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad on Sunday.
Names of Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari and Thiruvanathapuram MP Shashi Tharoor were also doing rounds.
NDTV reported that Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury would lead the Congress in Lok Sabha.
In the 16th Lok Sabha, senior party leader Mallikarjun Kharge led the Congress in the House, but he lost the Lok Sabha polls from Karnataka this time.
Chowdhury, who has been representing Berhampore in West Bengal since 1999, retained the seat in this year's Lok Sabha elections. He had defeated TMC's Apurba Sarkar by over 80,000 votes.
The leader of opposition is a key posting as the person is also part of the high powered committee. In the previous Lok Sabha, Kharge was invited to be part of the Lokpal selection meetings as a special invitee.
Sources have told OneIndia that a similar arrangement would continue as the government would not give the status of the single largest opposition to the Congress. For this status, a party needs to have 55 MPs in the Lok Sabha, but the Congress is short by three. Although there are speculations that the government considers the demand, the NDA is not in favour of doing so.
Earlier today, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) named Om Birla as the National Democratic Alliance's candidate and expressed optimism that he would be Lok Sabha's unanimous choice. Om Birla is a two-time BJP lawmaker from Kota.