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Posted at: Jun 18, 2019, 4:00 PM; last updated: Jun 19, 2019, 6:51 AM (IST)

After Rahul refuses, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury to be leader of Congress in LS

After Rahul refuses, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury to be leader of Congress in LS
Adhir Ranjan Chowdury. File photo

Aditi Tandon 
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, June 18
Behrampur Member of Parliament Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury will be made leader of the Congress party in Lok Sabha, sources said—a development that comes days after Congress president Rahul Gandhi refused to lead the party in the Lower House.    
Kodikunnil Suresh will be the party’s chief whip. Formal announcement will be made after UPA meeting later this evening, sources said. 
Veteran Congress leader Sonia Gandhi has handed over letters of appointments of both Choudhury and K Suresh for their new positions, sources said.  
When asked, Chowdhury said the issue of who would lead the Congress in the Lower House of Parliament was not discussed at a meeting of party leaders at Sonia Gandhi's residence. She has also called a meeting of opposition leaders later on Tuesday evening to discuss parliamentary strategy as well as a candidate for Deputy Speaker’s position.  
The Congress failed to get the post of Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha as it did not get the benchmark 10 per cent seats required to stake claim for the post.
'This is the second time in a row that the grand old party has failed to get the post.
Chowdhury is a five-time MP from West Bengal and has not lost the Lok Sabha election since 1999.
He currently represents the Berhampore Lok Sabha constituency in Murshidabad district of West Bengal.
Chowdhury has also been a member of the West Bengal Legislative Assembly from 1996 to 1999.
He has been the chief of the West Bengal Congress and was also the Minister of State for Railways during the UPA government from 2012 to 2014.
Chowdhury's fighting spirit has helped him win the confidence of his party.
Mallikarjun Kharge was the leader of the Congress in the previous Lok Sabha, but he lost the election this time, forcing the party to decide on another name.
Gandhi’s decision came in the light of his party’s disastrous performance in Lok Sabha elections.  
Congress has already decided to back NDA nominee Om Birla for speaker of Lok Sabha.


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