Karnataka: After Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mallikarjun Kharge to lead opposition in Rajya Sabha | Bengaluru News – Times of India


BENGALURU: Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge will be the leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha, succeeding Ghulam Nabi Azad whose tenure comes to an end on Monday.
Kharge was the leader of Congress in the Lok Sabha from 2014 to 2019, and is set to be the only Karnataka leader to occupy the position in both Houses.
VP has to give his assent, says Kharge
The veteran Dalit leader suffered a reversal in 2019 with his first electoral defeat in the Lok Sabha polls, against a novice, and the recent development marks his return to prominence in the party. More than a year after he lost, Kharge was elected to Rajya Sabha for the first time in his career.
Congress sources said Sonia Gandhi, as head of the Congress Parliamentary Party, has written to Rajya Sabha chairman Venkaiah Naidu to appoint Kharge leader of opposition as Azad is retiring on February 15. “Till now, it is just a nomination and the vice-president has to give his assent and announce it,” Kharge told TOI. “At this moment, I would only take the opportunity to thank Madam Sonia Gandhiji and Rahul Gandhiji for reposing faith in me and allowing me to work for the welfare of the nation.”
Kharge, who has served as minister in the Manmohan Singh Cabinet, said his stints as an opposition leader in Karnataka and in Lok Sabha will come in handy in the Upper House of the Parliament. Sources said Kharge’s fluency in Hindi and national profile make him a good fit for the job, while his rapport with leaders across the political spectrum over the years will prove an advantage for the party. Kharge is also seen as close to the leadership and known to enjoy a good equation with Sonia and Rahul.
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Sagar Biswas

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