Dehradun: After a humiliating defeat in the recently concluded polls, the Congress is now skeptic about selecting its Leader of the Opposition in the House even as three names have surfaced for consideration.
Going by the sources in the party, apart from veterans Indira Hridayesh and Pritam Singh, first-time winner Manoj Rawat is also in race for leader of the opposition. The speculations grew louder when two days ago Rawat was summoned by AICC leadership for a meeting in Delhi. The sources, however, said it will not be an easy task for the central leadership to finalise a name as Pritam Singh and Hridayesh are also strong contenders.
Well-placed sources in party have informed that Manoj had earned his brownie points by unearthing scams against the BJP government during its last tenure, including Siturgia land scam in Rishikesh, BPL scam of Haridwar SIDCUL and tirade against Baba Ramdev for ‘benaami’ land deals. Congress leaders say Rawat will be in a better position to counter BJP in the House. His ability to dig out issues against the government and meticulous planning of strategies gives him an edge over others.
However, Pritam Singh, who never lost election after the formation of the state, said Indira Hridayesh is too big a name to get sidelined by the AICC leadership. “The decision on the next Leader of Opposition will be taken by the party high command. It’s difficult to say anything on the matter at this moment,” Singh told HT. Similar views were expressed by PCC president Kishore Upadhyay. “I have lost the election and thus morally not inclined to speak much on it. The decision on the Leader of Opposition will be finalized by central leadership.”