CONGRESS … Sonia Gandhi named Congress parliamentary party leader; Rahul slowly regains breath


NEW DELHI: Sonia Gandhi has been elected as leader of the Congress Parliamentary Party at the party MPs’ meeting here on Saturday. Announcing this, party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala quoted her on twitter as saying, “We thank the 12.13crore voters for reposing faith in the Congress party.”

It would now be up to Sonia Gandhi to name the floor leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha, and it is likely that Rahul Gandhi will be nominated to this post, in place of Mallikarjun Kharge, who was defeated in the Lok Sabha polls in Gulbarga in Karnataka.

Rahul Gandhi turned up at the CLP meet, and was back at his bombastic best. “The 52 members will be more than enough for the party to take on the rival inch by inch,” he declared amid cheers from the MPs.

Sonia Gandhi praised her son, saying Rahul led a “valiant” and “relentless” campaign. “As Congress chief, he gave his all and toiled night and day for the party’s success. Rahul demonstrated fearless leadership and took on the Modi government head on,” she read from a prepared speech.

The party would stake its claim for Leader of Opposition status, though as per established norms, a party that has the largest share in the Opposition, but not less than 10 per cent of the total membership of the Lok Sabha, will be entitled to this. The Lok Sabha has 542 members, and hence the minimum requirement is 54. “If the Leader of Opposition status is not granted to the party, we will fight it out via legal means,” the party spokesperson said. –IHN-NN


Wrote Rahul Gandhi in his facebook post:

“The Congress Party may have just 52 Lok Sabha members but we will work together like a pride of brave-hearted Lions to protect our Constitution and institututions & to fearlessly do our duty as the leading Opposition party. The BJP will have no walkover in Parliament.”


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