Congress may replace Azad as leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha
New Delhi, Feb 07: With the term of Congress leader, Ghulam Nabi Azad's Rajya Sabha term coming to an end on February 15, the Congress is looking for a replacement, reports state.
Azad is the leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha. The names of Mallikarjun Kharge, Anand Sharma and P Chidambaram are doing the round for the post of leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha. A Hindustan Times report says that the name of Digvijaya Singh has also not been discounted.
Since the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir does not have an elected assembly at present, there will be no representatives in the upper House of Parliament, until the elections are held in J&K.
Two MPs from the PDP, Nazir Ahmed Laway and Mir Mohammad Fayaz will see their terms come to an end on February 10 and 15 respectively, while Azad's term will end on February 15. The term of BJP leader, Shamsher Singh Manhas would end on February 10.
The only chance of a re-election for Azad would be from Kerala, but that would be after two months. In April, two seats from Kerala will fall vacant and the Congress which holds one of them will be able to retain it. However the party is doubtful if the Kerala Congress would allow an outsider to be elected from the state. It may be recalled that the Kerala unit had not accommodated Chidambaram from the state.
The HT report also said that Kharge would be a front-runner for the post of Opposition leader in the Rajya Sabha. He is close to Rahul Gandhi and had been accommodated in the Rajya Sabha despite losing the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. While there has been no decision taken as yet, the report says that Chidambaram or Singh could also be the surprise picks for the Congress in the Rajya Sabha.