Congress Submits Kharge’s Name as New Leader of Opposition in RS
Congress leader Azad, current Leader of Opposition in the RS, is one of the four members retiring this month.
The Congress has submitted senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge’s name to the Rajya Sabha Chairperson as the new Leader of Opposition in the House, ANI reported on Friday, 12 February.
The development comes days ahead of the seat in Rajya Sabha falling vacant.
Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, the current Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, is one among the four members retiring from the Upper House this month.
He is set to retire on 15 February and will vacate the post of the Leader of Opposition in the Upper House.
The Congress has been considering candidates to take the place of the veteran leader who has been the face of the party for nearly two decades. Kharge was one of the frontrunners amongst the candidates, having raised issues on the party’s behalf often in the Lok Sabha.
Additionally, the fact that Kharge has been allotted the 10, Rajaji Marg residence, which was the last address of former President Pranab Mukherjee, was seen as a possible indication of his elevation to Azad’s erstwhile position.
Among other candidates being considered for the position were Congress leaders P Chidambaram and Digvijaya Singh.
PM Bids Farewell to Azad
Azad became a Rajya Sabha member in 1990, representing Maharashtra before becoming the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir. In 2009, he was the House MP from J&K, before becoming the Leader of the Opposition, chosen by the Congress in 2014.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had an emotional moment in the Upper House as he bid farewell to the Congress MP, and said that the Opposition leader who will replace Azad will “have difficulty matching his work because he (Azad) was not only concerned about his party but also about the country and the House.”
(With inputs from ANI.)
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