Sonia Gandhi Sets House in Order Ahead of Monsoon Session; Adhir Stays, G-23 Dissenters Get Key Roles


Ahead of parliament’s monsoon session, Congress president Sonia Gandhi reconstituted the parliamentary groups where ‘G-23 dissenters’ found key positions. Gandhi brought senior faces- former Union ministers P Chidambaram, Manish Tewari, Ambika Soni, and former chief minister Digvijaya Singh, ahead.

The ‘G-23’ leaders were authors of last year’s explosive dissent letter who eventually lost various party positions. Along with Adhir Ranjan Chowdhary- Party’s Bengal chief, Shashi Tharoor, and Manish Tiwari, among those ‘G-23 dissenters’, will be part of the seven-member group in the Lok Sabha.

Meanwhile, Gaurav Gogoi, son of late Tarun Gogoi, retained his position as deputy leader of the house. Amid last year’s dissent letter talks, Congress party members stated that Chowdhury might be replaced.

Gandhi, in a letter, said, “As the chairperson of the CPP (Congress Parliamentary Party), I have decided to reconstitute the following groups to facilitate and ensure the effective functioning of our party in both Houses of Parliament. These groups will meet daily during the session and can meet during the intersession periods as well where Parliament issues are concerned.”

Amongst other leaders, K Suresh retained his position as chief whip in the Lok Sabha, Ravneet Singh Bittu and Manickam Tagore held on to their positions as party whips in the reconstituted seven-member Lok Sabha group.

“These groups will meet daily during the session and can meet during the inter-session period as well where Parliament issues are concerned,” read a statement signed by Sonia Gandhi.

These groups can also meet whenever required while Mallikarjun Kharge will be the convener of these joint meetings. Reportedly, the groups will have various roles including mustering numbers, coordinating with various political parties and deciding on key floor issues such as support for a bill or the extent of cooperation with the government.

The groups are also responsible to decide which issue needs to be raised and how Congress will manoeuvre on issues raised by other parties.

The reshuffle comes a day before the monsoon session is set to begin after two curtailed sessions due to the ongoing pandemic.

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