ADHIR Ranjan Choudhury, re-elected from West Bengal’s Behrampore constituency in the Lok Sabha, was today named Congress Party’s Leader in the Lower House of Parliament after Rahul Gandhi declined the post. Adhir Ranjan was first elected to the 13th Lok Sabha. Congress Parliamentary Party’s Leader Sonia Gandhi chaired the CPP meet on Tuesday, June 24.As in the 16th Lok Sabha, there will be no Opposition Leader in the 17th Lok Sabha since India’s oldest political party is short of requisite number to get the status as per the criteria. Choudhury, 64, was Minister of State for Railways during UPA regime headed by Dr Manmohan Singh as Prime Minister and is a former MLA in his home state. He had vociferously opposed any electoral understanding with ruling TMC headed by Mamata Banerjee during last Lok Sabha poll. He is a strident critic of her style of functioning.INC has emerged as the largest group with 52 members followed by DMK and TMC in the Lok Sabha. It is therefore Choudhury’ onus to maintain coordination with other opposition groups on various issues in the Upper House. It will be interesting to watch how the 22 -Member group of TMC will maintain liaison with him on issues related to public.TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee has meanwhile repeatedly indicated non -cooperation with the BJP led NDA government. Adhir Ranjan has gone on record accusing her of sabotaging democracy in West Bengal. Question also remains unanswered as to who will take initiative in improving bilateral relations between and TMC and INC.
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