West Bengal Congress chief and MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury might be replaced as leader of the party in the Lok Sabha, The Indian Express reported on Sunday, 4 June.
The news comes ahead of the expected start of the Monsoon Session of Parliament from 19 July till 13 August.
Among the names reportedly being considered to replace Chowdhury are those of Shashi Tharoor and Manish Tewari, both of whom were part of the so-called 'Group of 23 (G-23)' leaders who had called for sweeping reforms in the party and its leadership last year.
A Bid to Improve TMC-Cong Equation?
The likely replacement of Chowdhury, who had led the Congress campaign in the West Bengal Assembly elections of March and April, is being interpreted as an effort towards improving the Congress-Trinamool Congress equation, especially in Parliament, to counter the central government.
The Congress fought the high-voltage West Bengal elections in alliance with the Left and the Indian Secular Front. While the Congress and the CPI(M) drew a blank, the ISF managed to win one seat.
The Mamata Banerjee-led TMC scored a decisive victory, winning 213 of the 292 seats in the elections, while the BJP failed to reach the three-digit mark, even though it made massive gains from the 2016 elections with 77 seats.
Apart from being the Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha, Chowdhury is also the chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC). During the previous Budget Session of Parliament, he was replaced by Ravneet Singh Bittu as the leader of the party in the Lower House, as the former was occupied with election campaigning.
(With inputs from Indian Express)