Congress to put up joint candidate for Rajya Sabha deputy chairman post

New Delhi: The Congress on Tuesday decided that the opposition will put up a joint candidate for the post of Rajya Sabha deputy chairman and it will reach out to various parties in this regard.

The decision comes ahead of the Monsoon Session of Parliament starting September 14 and was taken at the Congress Parliamentary strategy group meeting chaired by party chief Sonia Gandhi.

The post had fallen vacant after Harivansh’s term ended. He has since been re-elected to the Upper House as a member from Bihar.

The meeting was attended by party’s leaders in both houses including Rahul Gandhi, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad and leader of Congress party in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury.

Congress deputy leaders in both houses and chief whips and party’s whips also attended the virtual meeting.

This was the first time that some of the letter-writers, who had demanded an overhaul of the party, came face to face with the Congress leadership after the CWC meeting.

The Congress strategy group decided to raise the issue of restoration of the Question Hour in both houses during the session.

The Congress also decided to raise the issue of the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in the wake of rise in daily number of cases and India taking the second spot in total cases in the world, besides the effect of lockdown.

The party will also raise in both the houses the issue of Chinese aggression at the border and the current situation there.

The meeting started with an address by Sonia Gandhi who sought the suggestion of leaders on the issues to be raised in the upcoming session.

The Congress is planning to launch an offensive on the government and will be evolving a joint opposition strategy in this regard. A meeting with leaders of other opposition parties is also on the cards for discussing the strategy.