Five-time Congress MP from West Bengal and senior lawmaker Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury is set to become the party leader in the 17th Lok Sabha.
Speaking to news agency ANI on Tuesday, 18 June, Chowdhury confirmed that the party has given him this responsibility, adding that he will fight as a "foot soldier."
"I have been given this responsibility (the leader of Congress in the Lok Sabha). I was asked to stand in the front. I said okay. I am a foot soldier and foot soldiers stand in front. So I will fight as a foot soldier," he said.
Chowdhury's name was cleared by the top party leadership, after which a letter of his appointment was handed over to the Lok Sabha secretariat, top party officials told PTI.
Congress, however, is yet to make an official announcement regarding his appointment.
Sonia Gandhi Chairs Congress Meet
Earlier on Tuesday, a meeting of the Congress top brass, including Sonia Gandhi and party chief Rahul Gandhi, was held in New Delhi to decide the strategy on key matters such as the Lok Sabha speaker's election and Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call to discuss the 'one nation, one election' issue.
The meeting was chaired by Congress Parliamentary Party leader Sonia Gandhi and attended by former prime minister Manmohan Singh.
Senior Congress leaders AK Antony, P Chidambaram, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma, Jairam Ramesh, and K Suresh were among those present at the meeting held at Sonia Gandhi's residence.
A Five-Time MP& Former WB CM
Chowdhury is a five-time MP from West Bengal and has not lost the Lok Sabha election since 1999. He currently represents the Berhampore Lok Sabha constituency in Murshidabad district of West Bengal.
He has been a member of the West Bengal assembly from 1996 to 1999 and is a former Chief Minister of Bengal. Besides this, he was also a minister of state for railways between 2012 and 2014 during the UPA government.
Mallikarjun Kharge was the leader of the Congress in the previous Lok Sabha but he lost the election this time, forcing the party to decide on another name.
(With inputs from PTI and ANI)
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