Lok Sabha Elections 2024 | CWC asks Rahul Gandhi to take lead role in LS; Congress scion says decisions on LoP post, Wayanad or Raebareli ‘very soon’

This will be the first time that the Congress, since its ouster from power in 2014, will get the post of Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha.
hemin Joy
Last Updated : 08 June 2024, 10:23 IST
Last Updated : 08 June 2024, 10:23 IST

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New Delhi: Congress Working Committee on Saturday unanimously asked Rahul Gandhi to take the role of Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, as pressure mounted on the top leader who has so far kept himself away from any officiating role in government or Parliament.

Though no final decision has been announced, there are indications that Rahul may vacate Wayanad seat for Raebareli owing to leadership’s insistence that he should represent a seat in the northern parts.

Rahul said he would convey his decision “very soon”, as an oral resolution moved by senior leader Digvijaya Singh got the endorsement of all the 120 leaders participating in the extended Working Committee meeting that lasted for around three hours discussing the Lok Sabha election results.

Congress General Secretary (Organisation) KC Venugopal told a press conference that the CWC was unanimous in its view that Rahul should take up the position as he was the “best person” to lead them in Lok Sabha as they have to take forward the issues they raised during the campaign.

It was Singh who broached the issue of choosing Rahul as the LoP and told Kharge that a resolution needed to be adopted. With all leaders supporting the move, Kharge told Rahul that the entire party wants him to take the position to which the latter said that he would  respond to it very soon.

Sources said the party leaders are of the view that Rahul’s presence in an official position inside the House is needed as Sonia Gandhi would be “missing from Lok Sabha” as she became a Rajya Sabha member and vacated Raebareli. 

With Sonia not in Lok Sabha, leaders said absence of a proper chain of command with official stamp could lead to confusion, When the I.N.D.I.A bloc has leaders like Akhilesh Yadav in the House, another Congress leader may not attract the respect Rahul commands from partners. 

"During this election, we raised so many issues, burning issues; unemployment, price rise, Agniveer like issues, women issues, social justice issues. Therefore, these issues have to be continued in a greater manner inside the Parliament also. Rahul-ji is the best person to lead this campaign inside the Parliament, this is what the CWC’s view was," Venugopal said. 

"Therefore, the entire CWC feel that in the current scenario, for a better and strong vigilant Opposition, those who want to protect the Constitution, we should have Rahul-ji as the Leader of Opposition, this is what the CWC resolution (is all about)," he said.

Though it was not discussed in the CWC, Venugopal responded to a question on the seat – Wayanad or Raebareli – Rahul will retain saying a decision will be taken in “two-three-four days”.

Uttar Pradesh Congress president Ajai Rai told reporters that Rahul won from Raebareli with a huge margin and he should retain it. Sources said even Kerala leaders were of the view that Rahul should represent a north Indian seat in the current political situation.

A senior leader said Rahul as Leader of Opposition representing Raebareli has a political potential and the Congress should milk it to the hilt. Sources said the choice should be Raebareli as he defeated a BJP candidate there while his opponent was I.N.D.I.A. ally CPI’s Annie Raja.

"We should not send a wrong political signal," a senior leader told DH after the CWC meeting. 

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Published 08 June 2024, 10:23 IST

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