India’s main opposition party Congress on Tuesday named its senior lawmaker from West Bengal Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury as its leader in the newly-elected Lok Sabha, apparently after failing to convince Rahul Gandhi to take up the post. A letter has been written to Lok Sabha, saying Chowdhury, who won from Baharampur Lok Sabha constituency in West Bengal, would be the leader of the single largest party in the Lok Sabha with 52 seats and represent it at all important selection committees.
Along with Adhir Chowdhury who was a former chief of the party's West Bengal unit, Kerala leader K Suresh, Congress party spokesperson Manish Tewari and lawmaker Shashi Tharoor were reportedly in the running for the post. But Chowdhury’s much longer experience as a five-time member of the Lok Sabha titled the scale in his favour.
The question of a Lok Sabha leader of the Congress cropped up as the party's senior leader from Karnataka Mallikarjun Kharge lost the parliamentary election. Kharge was the party’s leader in the previous Lok Sabha. On May 25, two days after national poll results were declared, Rahul announced his decision to quit as Congress President taking responsibility for the party's rout and has been insisting on stepping down. However, the party has refused to accept his resignation.