AHEAD of Parliament’s Budget Session from June 17 to July 26, former Congress President and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, 72, has been unanimously re-elected Congress Parliamentary Party’s Chief by the party’s Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha Members. Her name was proposed by former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh. While Congress party’s senior leader Ghulam Nabi Azad from Jammu & Kashmir, close to the Nehru-Gandhi family, continues as its leader in the Upper House of Parliament, there is no clarity on the party’s leader in the Lok Sabha. Nirmala Sitharaman, India’s first full-fledged Finance Minister from South India and an alumni of Delhi based JNU and London School of Economics, will present the budget for the Modi led NDA government. She had a running battle with Congress President Rahul Gandhi over Rafale Jet fighter issue while she was handling the Defence Portfolio in the 16th Lok Sabha. The Congress President’s another bête noire Smriti Irani, who has wrested, Amethi, Nehru- Gandhi family’s pocket borough, has been entrusted with Woman and Child Development in addition to Textiles, will take on him again in the Lok Sabha after Rahul Gandhi has declared that he along with his 51 Lok Sabha members will remain combative. Meanwhile, after re-election as CPP Leader, she thanked the “12.13 crore voters for reposing faith in the Congress party” in the Lok Sabha polls. The Congress Parliamentary Party has reportedly authorised Sonia to pick the party’s leader in the Lok Sabha and Chief Whip. Congress president Rahul Gandhi has said “Under her leadership, the Congress will prove to be a strong and effective opposition party that will fight to defend the Constitution of India”. The CLP meeting, which was held for the first time since the declaration of the results of the General Election, was attended by all 52 newly-elected Lok Sabha MPs of the Congress along with the party’s Rajya Sabha Members. “We are 52 MPs.Congress may have just 52 MPs in the Lok Sabha but they are strong enough to take on the BJP which has 303 members “We are 52 MPs. I guarantee you that these 52 MPs will fight against BJP every single inch. We are enough to make BJP jump every day.””Every Congress member must remember that each one of you is fighting for the Constitution, for every person in India irrespective of the color of his skin or belief,” Rahul Gandhi said. Speaking about BJP lawmakers, Rahul Gandhi said, “They use hatred and anger to fight us…you are going to enjoy. [We] have to be aggressive. It is time to introspect and rejuvenate.”This is first time that Rahul Gandhi has attacked the BJP after the Congress was routed in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
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