New Delhi: The Congress is considering replacing Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury as leader of the Lok Sabha and appointing a new face to kickstart opposition strategy in the house and outside and corner the government in Parliament.
Sources say that the big idea is to reach out to Trinamool leader Mamata Banerjee, as both Adhir and Mamata have been rivals since their Congress days.
The decision may have been forced by the party’s pathetic performance in West Bengal Assembly election despite Chowdhury getting a free hand.
The possible replacement could be Manish Tewari or Shashi Tharoor. Tewari is MP from Anandpur Sahib in Punjab but has roots in eastern UP and has good relations with Mamata Banerjee; he is also a Brahmin. Shashi Tharoor, an MP from Kerala, is the urbane and articulate face of the Congress.
Incidentally, both Tharoor and Tewari are from the group of G-23 which wrote letters to Sonia Gandhi calling for sweeping reforms in the party. As Sonia Gandhi is reaching out to dissenters and opposition leaders, she is building a new team which is more flexible in approach. Chowdhury may be given the task of building the party from the scratch in Bengal.