New Delhi, Feb 16 (IANS) Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge has been appointed Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha by M. Venkiah Naidu, chairman of the House, after the post fell vacant following the retirement of Ghulam Nabi Azad.
“The chairman of the Rajya Sabha has accorded recognition to Mallikarjun Kharge, leader of the Indian National Congress, as Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, w.e.f. from February 16, 2021,” the Rajya Sabha said in its bulletin.
Earlier, interim party President and Chairman of the Congress parliamentary party, Sonia Gandhi, had written to Naidu to appoint Kharge as the Leader of Opposition.
Kharge was earlier the leader of the Congress in the last Lok Sabha.
Kharge, a former Union Minister in the Manmohan Singh government, has had a long career in politics. Belonging to the Dalit community, Kharge was a minister during the Congress rule in Karnataka.
Sources said that being a Dalit and coming from a politically crucial state like Karnataka, Kharge was the top choice for the post in the party.
He is also a Hindi speaking leader, which will make the Congress comfortable in the Hindi heartland. He is close to the party leadership and shares a good equation with Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi.
Ghulam Nabi Azad retired from the Rajya Sabha on February 15.