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Rahul Gandhi under pressure to become Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha

While Congress unanimously wants him to take up the Leader of Opposition’s chair, Rahul has kept himself away from Parliamentary positions though he had remained Congress’ face in the past ten years in the Lok Sabha.
Last Updated : 17 June 2024, 16:39 IST

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New Delhi: Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge might have said that choosing the Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha is a “matter for future” and they will “decide soon” but there will be pressure on Rahul Gandhi to take up the post.

Even as he and the party chose to retain Raebareli seat and leave Wayanad, Rahul has not made public his decision on the Congress Working Committee resolution urging him to take up the post. If Rahul refuses to take up the post, the party may choose from among senior MPs like Kumari Selja and Manish Tewari and Congress Deputy Leader in Lok Sabha Gaurav Gogoi.

While Congress unanimously wants him to take up the Leader of Opposition’s chair, Rahul has kept himself away from Parliamentary positions though he had remained Congress’ face in the past ten years in the Lok Sabha.

Several Opposition leaders have also made this demand that Rahul occupy the top chair in the Opposition group inside Parliament. It would also bring a north-south balance in Congress leadership in Parliament with Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge being the Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha.

On Monday, after a meeting Kharge had with the Gandhis and Congress General Secretary (Organisation) KC Venugopal in order to decide on which seat Rahul should retain, the Congress president had to face questions on their decision on Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha. “That is a matter for the future…we will decide soon,” Kharge responded to reporters.

At the CWC meeting where senior leader Digvijaya Singh brought an oral resolution that got unanimous support, Kharge also told Rahul that he should take up the post. In jest, he also told Rahul that as the party president, he will have to take action against him if he violates party discipline by not adhering to the decisions.

Rahul recalled the “threat” from Kharge when he met the media along with Kharge, though he did not spell out what was in his mind. Late last week, a top Congress leader had spoken about the pros and cons of Rahul taking up the post with a section of media and said that one cannot ignore the “organisational challenges” the party is facing and whether he would be pinned to Delhi if he takes up the post.

The leader cited the challenges in states like Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh and Uttarakhand where it did not win a single seat and states like Gujarat, Karnataka, Telangana where it did not perform to its potential.

“The question is will Rahul be tied up with too much on his plate. We will have to consider all aspects,” the leader said.

However, another section argues that Rahul’s presence in Lok Sabha as Leader of Opposition would unsettle the BJP as he has been the face of the fight against Narendra Modi though the party ensured that it did not turn into a personality contest. They also believe it will also bring more cohesion within the I.N.D.I.A bloc.

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Published 17 June 2024, 16:39 IST

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