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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Sonia Gandhi convenes meeting of parliamentary strategy group


Ahead of the monsoon session of Parliament from July 19, Congress president Sonia Gandhi has convened a meeting of the parliamentary strategy group on Wednesday.

The meeting could be a platform in which Ms. Gandhi will make an announcement about the appointment of a new party leader in the Lok Sabha, replacing Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury.

Post the 2019 Lok Sabha poll results, with 52 seats, the Congress fell short of the required number to get the official designation of the Leader of the Opposition. Mr. Chowdhury, however, has been functioning as the leader of the single largest Opposition party in the House.

For some time now, there has been a talk about replacing him with a more articulate speaker, but there is no official word yet. However, the speculation is that the party may choose someone like Shashi Tharoor, Manish Tewari, Gaugav Gogoi or Ravneet Bittu to more effectively to put across its views.

“I have no information about it, as none from the party has informed me so far. Whatever responsibility is given to me by leadership, it becomes my dharma [duty] to carry on,” Mr. Chowdhury, a five-term Lok Sabha member, told The Hindu last week.

The parliamentary strategy group will also discuss issues such as the devastating second wave of coronavirus, the pace of vaccination, the preparation for a possible third wave, price rise, job losses due to COVID-19, revival of the economy, restoration of Statehood to Jammu and Kashmir and holding of elections that Opposition parties plan to raise in the monsoon session.



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