Gowda to share House space with Lalu


Two former chief ministers from Karnataka — Dharam Singh of the Congress and H D Kumaraswamy of the JD(S) — will sit in the sixth row.

There was speculation on whether Lalu would make to the front bench — a prestigious space usually shared by senior leaders. Lalu would not have got the front bench in the normal course, for his party has won only four seats, or Gowda who has just three MPs.The Congress has been generous to the two leaders as it has given up claim on two seats in favour of them.

Frontbenchers

The other frontbenchers include Sharad Yadav of the JD(U), Basudev Achariya of the CPM, former minister T R Baalu of the DMK and Sis Ram Ola of the Congress.

From the main Opposition, after the first seat which belongs to the deputy Speaker, the leaders to be seated in the first row include Opposition leader L K Advani, his deputy Sushma  Swaraj, Murli Manohar Joshi and Jaswant Singh. The second row will be occupied by Yashwant Sinha, Ananth Kumar, Shahnawaz Hussain and others.

The seats are allotted by the Speaker.

On the right side of the Speaker, which is reserved for the ruling coalition leaders and senior ministers, the first seat belongs to the prime minister followed by the House Leader — at present Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee. Also seated in the first row are United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi, ministers Sharad Pawar, P Chidambaram and Mamata Banerjee.

Congress’ heir apparent Rahul Gandhi will sit in one of the back benches — eighth to be precise. Sharing his bench are ministers Shashi Tharoor, R P N Singh, Arun Yadav, Prateek Patil, Vincent Pala, Pradeep Jain and Agatha Sangma.

Others in the youth brigade who share his bench include Sandeep Dixit, son of Delhi chief minister Sheila Dixit, Priya Dutt, daughter of former minister and film star Sunil Dutt, and Deepender Hooda, son of Haryana chief minister B S Hooda.

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