NEW DELHI: With the monsoon session of Parliament beginning next week, the Congress is looking at a leadership change in the Lok Sabha. Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury is expected to be replaced as the leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha as part of the party’s organisational reshuffle.
According to sources, Shashi Tharoor and Manish Tewari are leading the race to replace him. The names of Gaurav Gogoi, Ravneet Singh Bittu and Uttam Kumar Reddy are also doing the rounds. Sources further said former Congress president Rahul Gandhi will not take up that position.
Chowdhury is also the president of the Congress unit in West Bengal, where the party was wiped out in the recent Assembly elections. Ever since, rumours about his axing as the party’s leader in the Lok Sabha were doing the rounds, citing the one-man-one-post rule, especially because he has no leverage now. The speculation has since strengthened with indications that the rule will be rigorously enforced now.
As for Tewari, he is also in the race to head the troubled Punjab unit of the party, which is expected to be announced soon. The monsoon session will begin in July 19.Both Tharoor and Tewari are part of the group of 23 leaders who wrote to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi last year seeking clarity on leadership issues.
The monsoon session is expected to be stormy with the Congress planning to demand a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into the Rafale jet deal. A French court’s recent order to probe charges of corruption and favouritism in the deal, gave impetus to the Congress campaign against the bilateral agreement. The government’s handling of the second wave of the pandemic, too, will be under the critical gaze of parliamentarians.