India / Congress' Mallikarjun Kharge becomes Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha

Vikrant Shekhawat : Feb 17, 2021, 01:00 PM
New Delhi: Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge has been appointed Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha by M Venkaiah Naidu, Chairman of the House, after the post fell vacant following the retirement of Ghulam Nabi Azad.

“The chairman of the Rajya Sabha has accorded recognition to Mallikarjun Kharge, leader of the Indian National Congress, as Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, w.e.f. from February 16, 2021,” the Rajya Sabha said in its bulletin.

Earlier, interim party President and Chairman of the Congress parliamentary party Sonia Gandhi had written to Naidu to appoint Kharge as the Leader of Opposition, reported news agency IANS.

The Congress had earlier submitted the senior leader’s name to the Rajya Sabha Chairperson as the new Leader of Opposition in the House, ANI reported. The party chose Kharge out of a small group of frontrunners for the position, including party leaders Anand Sharma and P Chidambaram.

The requirement for a new Leader of Opposition came in light of Congress leader Azad’s retirement, who held the position. Azad retired on 15 February.

Kharge was earlier the leader of the Congress in the last Lok Sabha. A former Union Minister in the Manmohan Singh government, Kharge has had a long career in politics. Hailing from the Dalit community, he was a minister during the Congress rule in Karnataka.