The 2019 Lok Sabha elections spelled trouble for Congress as the party failed to improve its previous tally of 44. Despite five years of BJP rule, Congress won only 52 seats, casting doubts on the leadership of Rahul Gandhi.
As it is struggling to stay relevant, Congress on Tuesday named Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury as the leader in Lok Sabha.
Here are more details.
Congress leaders wanted Rahul to lead them in Lok Sabha
The post of a leader in Lok Sabha for Congress fell vacant after senior leader Mallikarjun Kharge lost elections.
Congress functionaries wanted Rahul to take up the post, but he refused. After the rout, Rahul has been insisting on leaving presidency but Congress hasn't been able to make up its mind.
There is still no clarity on whether Rahul will remain president or not.
After Chowdhury's name was finalized, Lok Sabha was informed
The strategy session to decide who will lead the party in Lok Sabha was attended by Rahul, his mother and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, and other leaders. After Chowdhury's name was finalized, a letter was sent to Lok Sabha.
Apart from Chowdhury, Kerala leader K Suresh, party spokesperson Manish Tewari and Thiruvananthapuram lawmaker Shashi Tharoor were also in the fray for the post.
Earlier, PM Modi praised Chowdhury, called him a 'fighter'
Chowdhury is a five-time MP and was chosen because of his experience in parliamentary affairs.
On Sunday, Chowdhury, who is a staunch critic of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, got praise from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
At the end of the all-party meeting, PM Modi patted Chowdhury's back and called him a 'fighter' in front of Ghulam Nabi Azad and Anand Sharma.
We are not fighting a war: Chowdhury
In response, Chowdhury said, "I don't have any personal enmity with anyone. We are people's representatives and they (BJP) are also people's representatives. We will raise our voices, they will also do. We are going to speak in Parliament, not fight in a war."
Meanwhile, Congress discussed "one nation, one election" issue
Apart from selecting the leader in Lok Sabha, Congress discussed other matters at Tuesday's meeting.
They pondered over PM Modi's "one nation, one election" issue. He has called all heads of parties for a meeting on Wednesday to discuss this idea.
Congress also spoke about election of Lok Sabha speaker. Chowdhury underlined his party won't oppose anyone's name as Lok Sabha speaker.