Cong yet to decide on leader in LS; oppn in disarray over floor coordination

PTI, Jun 16, 2019, 7:47 PM IST

New Delhi: The Congress is yet to take a decision on who it will appoint as its leader in the Lok Sabha with the issue still pending with the top leadership, sources said.

With the budget session scheduled to start from Monday, the opposition also seems to be in a disarray as far as floor coordination is concerned with no meeting held to discuss the strategy to corner the government on key issues.

There is also no official word on when such a meeting of the opposition parties could be held.

A Congress leader said most opposition parties are yet to decide upon their leader in the Lok Sabha and once those processes are completed a meeting can be held.

The Congress itself has not taken a decision on who it will appoint as its leader in the Lok Sabha.

“So far, nothing has been decided, the issue is still pending with the leadership,” a senior leader said on the condition of anonymity.

West Bengal Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and Kerala unit working president K Suresh attended the all-party meeting along with Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad on Sunday, sparking speculation that one of the two leaders could be made the leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha.

Along with Chowdhury and Suresh, Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari and Thiruvanathapuram MP Shashi Tharoor are also in the running to be Congress’ leader in the Lok Sabha, sources said.

Earlier, there was speculation that Gandhi could take up that post after he offered to quit as party chief, but with the Congress asserting that he will remain president, that buzz has died down.

Tharoor, who scored an electoral hat-trick by winning from the Thiruvanathapuram seat in the Lok Sabha polls, had earlier said he is ready to take on the job of the Congress’ leader in the Lok Sabha if offered the post.

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.

The Opposition has not held a meeting after the election results were out on May 23 in which the NDA came back to power with a thumping mandate.

The first session of the newly-constituted 17th Lok Sabha will be held from June 17 to July 26.

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