Congress to replace Adhir Chowdhury as leader in Lok Sabha
The Indian National Congress is reportedly looking to replace Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury as the party's leader in the Lok Sabha. Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and her son, former chief Rahul Gandhi, are notably not opposed to the replacement. The development comes shortly before the monsoon session of the Parliament and is expected to be followed by a string of other organizational changes.
Chowdhury, who represents Baharampur in the Lok Sabha, will likely be replaced by Shashi Tharoor, Manish Tiwari, Gaurav Gogoi, Ravneet Singh Bittu, and Uttam Kumar Reddy, sources told NDTV. Rahul Gandhi will not be considered, they said. Sources said Chowdhury, who is also the Bengal Congress chief, is being replaced as the party enforces the "one man one post" rule.
If Tharoor or Tewari end up succeeding Chowdhury, the move will likely be an effort to reconcile with a group of dissenters, dubbed "G-23," who infamously wrote to Sonia Gandhi suggesting a major overhaul in the party last August. After writing the letter to Gandhi, many of the dissenters had eventually ended up losing key positions in the party.
Chowdhury's replacement is also being seen as an attempt to smooth things over between the Congress and the Trinamool Congress (TMC). Chowdhury is a harsh critic of the TMC and its supremo, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Several Opposition parties are looking to join hands to put up a united front against the Narendra Modi government in the Parliament.
The Congress party has also called for a strategy session for the Parliament on July 15. The monsoon session begins on July 19. Reportedly, the party is expected to raise demands for an investigation into the Rafale deal by a Joint Parliamentary Committee.