Kharge, not Rahul, to lead Cong in LS
Congress general secretary Janardan Dwivedi on Monday said that Kharge ‘has been appointed as the leader of the Congress parliamentary party in Lok Sabha’.
He added it was up to the ‘speaker to decide (whether the) status of leader of opposition’ would be granted in Kharge’s case as the party does not have enough numbers to claim the mantle of the main opposition party in Lok Sabha.
On his new assignment, Kharge said,’We will not function as opposition for opposition sake. It (our functioning) will be issue based in the larger interest of the country and society.’
The Congress, as the opposition party, would, at the same time, discharge its responsibility in highlighting the ‘mistakes’ of the government, said the veteran Congress leader.
Thanking Sonia for reposing faith in him, he said, ‘I will do my utmost to measure up to the expectations of party president. I will sincerely and honestly try to discharge the responsibility in the interest of the country. Whatever job has been entrusted to me by my party president, I will try to come up to her expectations.’
Earlier there was speculation that either Kamal Nath or Veerappa Moily, party veterans and former union ministers, would be designated as the leader of the party in the lower house, as Sonia and Rahul were not keen to assume the responsibility.
The Congress has won 44 seats in the Lok Sabha in the polls. For getting recognition as Opposition block, the party is required to have at least 55 MPs in the Lok Sabha or 10 percent of its total strength of 545. However, the speaker of Lok Sabha can confer the status on his or her discretion.