Putting an end to all speculations, Congress has decided to allow Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury as the party’s floor leader in the Lok Sabha. Congress president Sonia Gandhi has also reconstituted the party’s parliament groups for both houses ahead of the monsoon session beginning from July 19.
There were strong rumours that the Chowdhury, MP representing Berhampore, might be relieved from his post as the Congress’s floor leader in parliament. There were also reports that he would also be relieved from his second key post as the President of the Congress’s West Bengal state unit.
It had raised serious doubts about him losing the confidence of the Congress high command. There were reports that Shashi Tharoor, Manish Tewari or Kodikunnil Suresh would be appointed as the floor leader.
In a letter issued on July 15, Sonia Gandhi, who is also the Chairman of the Congress Parliamentary party, said she has decided to reconstitute the party’s parliament groups “to facilitate and ensure effective functioning” of the party in both houses of Parliament.
The Rajya Sabha group has Mallikarjun Kharge, Anand Sharma, Jairam Ramesh, Ambika Soni, Digvijaya Singh, P. Chidambaram and K.C. Venugopal as members. In the Lok Sabha, the group has Adhir Ranjan Choudhury, Gaurav Gogoi, Manish Tewari, K. Suresh, Manickam Tagore, Shashi Tharoor and Ravneet Bittu.
These leaders are entrusted to lead the charge against the government in parliament. They will meet regularly during the session and afterwards whenever required. Kharge has been authorized to convene joint meetings.