Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, a five-time parliamentarian from West Bengal, was named the leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha, while Kerala MP K Suresh was made the party’s chief whip in the lower house, party sources said on Tuesday.
Chowdhury’s name was cleared by the top party leadership and a letter of his appointment was handed over to the Lok Sabha Secretariat in the afternoon.
Chowdhury said he was obliged to the party leadership for considering him and committing the huge responsibility to him.
“It is a stupendous task. The party has entrusted a very big responsibility on me and I would try to fulfil that with full determination,” Chowdhury told reporters after his appointment.
“I am a foot soldier of the party and have fought for the rights of the common man. I will continue this fight in Parliament by raising issues concerning the common man,” he added
According to sources, Chowdhury’s fighting spirit has helped him win the party’s confidence.
Chowdhury has not lost the Lok Sabha election since 1999. He has also been a member of the West Bengal assembly from 1996-1999.
He has been the state Congress chief and also a minister of state for railways between 2012 and 2014 during the UPA government.
Mallikarjun Kharge was the leader of the Congress in the previous Lok Sabha, but he lost the election this time, forcing the party to decide on another name.