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HindustanTimes Sun,31 Aug 2014

Amarinder Cong's deputy leader in Lok Sabha

PTI  New Delhi, June 05, 2014
First Published: 19:53 IST(5/6/2014) | Last Updated: 21:43 IST(5/6/2014)

Former Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh, who defeated Arun Jaitley in Lok Sabha elections, has been made the deputy leader of Congress in Lok Sabha while the young leader Jyotiraditya Scindia has been brought in as chief whip of the party.

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The decision to appoint Scindia, one of the two party MPs from Madhya Pradesh, signals the party's intent to accommodate the young articulate leadership in the House where both leader of the party Mallikarjun Kharge and deputy leader Singh are veterans.

Scindia is considered close to Rahul Gandhi and had been made the campaign commitee chief of the party for assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh last year.

The other MP from Madhya Pradesh is former Union minister Kamal Nath. There had been speculation earlier about his being made party's Leader in Lok Sabha, a post which eventually went to Kharge, a Dalit leader from Karnataka which has sent the maximum number of 9 MPs for the party in this election.

The lone MP from Haryana Deepender Singh Hooda, son of chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, has been made one of the two whips, the other being K C Venugopal from Kerala.

Party spokespersn Shobha Oza announced the appointments at the AICC briefing.

In a surprise decision, Kharge was chosen the Congress leader of Lok Sabha on June 3 ending speculation about either Congress president Sonia Gandhi or vice president Rahul Gandhi taking up the post to lead the 44 party MPs in the House.

Asked who would be the party's Leader in Rajya Sabha, she pleaded ignorance. There is strong speculation that Congress would be naming its senior leader from Jammu and Kashmir Ghulam Nabi Azad as its leader for Rajya Sabha.

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