As per reports, Congress leader from West Bengal and Berhampore MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury is the front runner for the post.
Congress Leader in Lok Sabha: With the first session of Lok Sabha commencing on Monday after the general elections, Congress announced its West Bengal unit president and Berhampore MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury as it’s leader in the Lower House of Parliament. With 52 MPs, the party will not get the rank of the Leader of Opposition, for which the minimum required number is 54.
An MP from Berhampore, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury joined the Congress when Rajiv Gandhi was the Prime Minister. In 1991, he unsuccessfully contested from Nabagram Lok Sabha constituency, but won the seat five years later in 1996.
In 1999, he contested from Berhampore and won, defeating his nearest rival Pramothes Mukherjee of the Revolutionary Socialist Party by a margin of 95,391 votes. He went on to serve the party in various capacities. In 2012, he was inducted in the UPA government led by PM Manmohan Singh and served as Minister of State for Railways. He currently holds the post of president of the West Bengal unit of the Congress.
Besides Chowdhury, Congress party’s Kerala MPs K Suresh and Shashi Tharoor were also said to be in the reckoning for the post. Earlier, there were speculations that Congress president Rahul Gandhi may take up the job after he offered his resignation from party’s top post. But with the Congress’s top decision-making body refusing to accept his resignation put an end to this theory. Tharoor, an MP from Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala had said he is ready to take up the job of the Congress leader in Lok Sabha, if it is offered to him.
There was intense speculation on Tuesday about who Congress would name as their leader in the Lower house. Even before an official announcement was made, some television media reports claimed that the Congress had finalised Chowdhury’s name. Another indication of Chowdhury being selected was him occupying the seat on the front right corner of the Opposition benches. The seat is occupied by an MP appointed as the Leader of the Opposition. It was allotted to Kharge who was the Leader of the Congress in the 16th Lok Sabha.