Sonia Gandhi Recasts Parliamentary Groups, 'G-23' Leaders In The List

Shashi Tharoor and Manish Tewari, other members of the "G-23" group, have been named members of the party's Lok Sabha group.

Sonia Gandhi and the Congress have been preparing to attack centre in parliament. (File)

New Delhi:

The overhaul of the Congress's Parliamentary Groups by party chief Sonia Gandhi saw a section of "G-23" leaders -- authors of last year's explosive dissent letter who ended up losing the various party positions -- inducted in some key positions.

Shashi Tharoor and Manish Tiwari, among those "G-23" dissenters, will be part of the seven-member group in the Lok Sabha.

Congress's Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, chief of the party's Bengal branch, will remain the party's leader in the Lok Sabha, while Gaurav Gogoi, son of late Tarun Gogoi, retains his position as deputy leader of the house.

A section of party leaders had earlier said that Mr Chowdhury might be replaced.

K Suresh was able to retain his position as chief whip in the Lok Sabha; while Ravneet Singh Bittu and Manickam Tagore held on to their positions as party whips in the reconstituted seven-member Lok Sabha group.

In the Rajya Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge is the leader of the house, while Anand Sharma, another dissenter, retained his position of the deputy leader.

Jairam Ramesh has been named chief whip in the upper house. Ambika Soni, P Chidambaram, Digvijaya Singh and KC Venugopal make up the other members of this group.

The monsoon session of Parliament begins tomorrow.

"These groups will meet daily during the session and can meet during the inter-session period as well where Parliament issues are concerned," read a statement signed by Sonia Gandhi.

Joint meetings of these groups can also be held as and when required and Mallikarjun Kharge will be the convener of the joint meetings.

In Parliament, the Congress aims to corner the government over the ongoing price rise as the economy goes into a tailspin and the government's handling of the coronavirus pandemic.   

The opposition has been vehement in its criticism of the slow pace of vaccination and the letting down of guard that led to the second surge of the disease in April-May, which took a huge toll on the people and the healthcare system.

There is also indication that the party will raise the Rafale issue, which lost steam after the overwhelming BJP victory in the 2019 Lok Sabha election. A recent order by a French court to investigate the Rafale deal has revived the issue.