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HindustanTimes Wed,22 Oct 2014

Congress still divided on leader of Opposition

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, May 31, 2014
First Published: 00:50 IST(31/5/2014) | Last Updated: 00:53 IST(31/5/2014)

Pressure is mounting on Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi to take up the role of the leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha with a section saying he should not shy away from assuming the responsibility in difficult times for the party.

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There is a clear divide in the party on the issue, with seniors pitching for Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s name while young leaders throwing their weight behind Rahul.

A Congress leader said Sonia Gandhi should take it up, and if she doesn’t due to any circumstance Rahul is the second best choice.

“Naming any third person will send the message that Rahul is not keen on taking up the responsibility,” he said, adding the party should not be sending confusing signals among party workers and voters about the leadership.

However, another set of leaders want Rahul to focus on rebuilding the organisation in consultation with Sonia and instead name the seniormost MP and former Union minister Kamal Nath as the Leader of the Opposition.

Party spokesperson Shashi Tharoor said the political leadership of the party has to be its face to the nation as well.

Tharoor, who had earlier openly said Sonia should take up the responsibility and put an end to the system of dual leadership, however, refrained from naming anyone on Friday.


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