Congress leader from West Bengal Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury is tipped to be the leader of the party in the Lok Sabha, top sources in the grand old party said on Tuesday (June 18).
Chowdhury’s name has been cleared by the top party leadership, the sources said, but the party did not confirm it officially. 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.
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.