Congress wants to see Rahul as the leader of the opposition

Congress and a large part of the opposition camp want to see Rahul Gandhi as the leader of the opposition in India’s Lok Sabha. According to sources, most of the Congress leaders feel that as the leader of the Congress party in the Lok Sabha, Rahul should take the responsibility of the Leader of the Opposition. If this is the case, he will be able to present himself as a direct contender for the post of Prime Minister in the Lok Sabha elections of 2029. Now whether to agree to this proposal, that is the main question now.

According to Congress sources, on Wednesday (June 5) party president Mallikarjun Kharg’s house, the gathering of leaders of the ‘India’ alliance discussed this issue. Although there was no official discussion on this issue in the meeting, many of the opposition leaders agreed that Rahul should be the leader of the opposition. Ahead of the meeting, Uddhav Thackeray’s Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said they would have no objection if India could form a coalition government next time, and if Rahul agreed to be the prime minister of that government.

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According to Congress leaders, the Leader of the Opposition has to go to the selection committee meeting for the appointment of CBI chief, Lokpal, Chief Vigilance Commissioner. Apart from the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice resides there. If Rahul is the leader of the opposition, he can sit face to face with Modi and express his opinion or objection.

But another section of the Congress is of the view that Rahul is never one to sit all day in Parliament. As a result, it is difficult for him to play the role of opposition leader. Instead of sitting in Parliament, he is more interested in campaigns like the Bharat Joro Yatra or strengthening organizations. In this year’s Lok Sabha elections, Congress won 47 seats more than the previous time. Voter turnout has also increased. But despite winning 99 seats, the party’s organizational weakness is evident in many states.

After the 2014 and 2019 elections, there was no Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha. Although the Congress is the largest opposition party, the leader of the Congress party in the Lok Sabha does not get the title of Leader of the Opposition. Because, for that, Congress had to win 10 percent of the total Lok Sabha seats. Mallikarjun Kharge in the first Modi government and Adhir Chowdhury in the second Modi government held the position of the largest opposition leader.

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Adhir has lost this time. Along with him, senior leaders like Digvijoy Singh in Madhya Pradesh, former Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh Bhupesh Baghel, CP Joshi in Rajasthan, Anand Sharma in Himachal lost. Nakul Nath, son of Kamal Nath in Madhya Pradesh, Vaibhav Gehlaut, son of Ashok Gehlaut in Rajasthan, Vikram Aditya Singh, son of late Himachal chief minister Birbhadra Singh, lost. Familiar faces like Rajbabbar, Kantilal Bhuria also lost.

As a result, if Rahul does not agree, the question remains as to who will be the leader of the Congress party and the leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha. Among the older MPs, Shashi Tharoor, Manish Tiwari and KC Venugopal have won the Lok Sabha. Venugopal, though Rahul’s closest confidante, is now the Congress’s organizing secretary. As a result, there may be a demand to remove him from the post of organizational secretary if he is given the responsibility of the opposition leader of the Lok Sabha.

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Gaurav Gogoi, deputy leader of the Congress in the last Lok Sabha, can also leave everyone behind as a ‘dark horse’. In particular, the Congress this time won three seats in Assam and all the seats in Manipur, Nagaland in the Northeast. Kishorelal Sharma, who lost Smriti Irani in Amethi, met Sonia, Rahul, Priyanka today at 10 Janpath. However, no one is putting Kishorelal in the race for the leader of the opposition.

Since his political debut in 2004, Rahul Gandhi, 53, has not held any constitutional post despite his party being in power. Last year, he was stripped of his parliamentary post due to a defamation case. However, the Supreme Court later reversed his position.

Source: NDTV, Anandabazar