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With Sonia Gandhi's absence, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury to decide Congress strategy

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New Delhi, Sep 14: Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha Congress leaders will firm up the party's strategy in both the Houses of Parliament during the 18-day monsoon session that starts from Monday following the absence of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi during a major part of the proceedings.

Gulam Nabi Azad

Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad and Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury will take a call on the issues to be raised in the two Houses on any day.

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    Earlier, before leaving for abroad for a routine health check-up, Sonia Gandhi had chaired a meeting of the Congress's parliament strategy group to give a final shape to the party's stand on various issues, including India-China border standoff, COVID-19 situation and the current state of economy, especially the historic decline in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

    A 10-member committee, five each from the upper and lower house, has already been formed for smooth functioning and effective floor coordination in both the Houses. The group for the Rajya Sabha has Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad, party's deputy leader Anand Sharma, Ahmed Patel, KC Venugopal and Jairam Ramesh.

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    The group for the Lok Sabha will have Adhir Ranjan Choudhary, Gaurav Gogoi, K Suresh, Manickam Tagore and Ravneet Singh Bittu.

    For any crisis-like situation, Sonia Gandhi has also formed a special six-member committee to take party-related decisions. It comprises AK Antony, Ahmed Patel, Ambika Soni, KC Venugopal, Mukul Wasnik and Randeep Singh Surjewala.

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    Congress Parliament Party (CPP) chairperson Sonia Gandhi, left for the US on Saturday for her routine health check-up. She is accompanied by her son and Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi.

    Apart from Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, the meeting of the strategy group was also attended by former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Rahul Gandhi, Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, his deputy Anand Sharma, party leader in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, his deputy Gaurav Gogoi, AK Antony, Ahmed Patel, Mallikarjun Kharge, Jairam Ramesh, KC Venugopal, Manish Tewari, K Suresh, Manickam Tagore and Ravneet Singh Bittu.

    The party has decided to corner the government on the issue in parliament but in a "nuanced" way given that the Indian forces are standing eyeball-to-eyeball with Chinese troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

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