Congress set to skip the session
Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi may skip the Winter session
Many Congress leaders are set to join the Padayatra of Rahul Gandhi. It looks as though the Congress Party as such is not serious in its approach toward the Parliament. With this, the stand of DMK is yet to be decided. K Chandrasekhar Rao is all set to create a ruckus in both houses as Kavita, his daughter, is under the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) net. Mamata Banerjee does not want to make a hue and cry. In a nutshell, the Winter session of Parliament will be easier and smooth. Congress has given in to the regional parties’ aspirations and will allow the Winter session to transact its business.
Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge will continue as the leader of the opposition, as will Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury as the party leader in the Lok Sabha.
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“But the upcoming session will not see Rahul in an active role after a long gap. Similarly, Sonia Gandhi, who remains the Congress parliamentary party chief, might not get involved in daily issues after the election of the new party president,” a senior functionary said, seeking anonymity.
Along with Rahul Gandhi, Congress’ Rajya Sabha chief whip Jairam Ramesh and senior leader Digvijaya Singh too will be absent most of the time. They are an important part of the Bharat Jodo Yatra. Their absence, particularly of Jairam, who is the party’s key parliamentary strategist, will require an additional workforce from the Congress.
“Newly elected Rajya Sabha leader Rajeev Shukla will play an important role as a backroom boy in this upcoming parliamentary session for the Congress,” said the leader cited above. “Shukla, one of the few leaders with a good rapport across party lines, is best suited to help Kharge in floor management.”
In the Lok Sabha, Chowdhury, Gaurav Gogoi, Manish Tewari, and Kodikunnil Suresh might be part of the team to coordinate with other political parties, said another leader.
Rahul Gandhi in the past few years took an active interest in the Congress’ parliamentary outreach. On August 3 last year, he hosted a breakfast meeting with all opposition leaders, which was widely seen as his first attempt to emerge as the key face of the entire opposition.
Sonia Gandhi, too, paid importance to parliamentary outreach, often calling meetings of senior leaders to decide a collective stand on issues.
Another leader, however, hinted that Kharge, in the long run, may try to accommodate a Hindi-speaking leader in that position.
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