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|October 11, 1999||
CPP to elect leader tomorrow
The Congress Parliamentary Party will meet in New Delhi tomorrow to elect its leader amid speculations on who it is likely to be.
It is not clear whether party president Sonia Gandhi, who has been elected to the Lok Sabha from Bellary and Amethi, would be the CPP chairperson and whether there will be separate leaders for the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha as was the case in the 12th Lok Sabha.
The party's leader in the Lok Sabha would have the status of the leader of the opposition and there would be more than one claimant if Sonia Gandhi declines to take it up. These names include former Union minister N D Tiwari.
Meanwhile, five All India Congress Committee secretaries in a statement appealed to Sonia Gandhi to assume the role of the leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha in addition to her responsibilities as CPP chairperson and party president. They said she is the undisputed leader of the party and Parliament is the forum in which the political battle is joined.
Mani Shankar Aiyar, Ramesh Chennithala, Imran Kidwai, Sudhir Sawant and Mukul Wasnik are the signatories to the statement.
Party spokesperson Ajit Jogi asserted that there was no difference of opinion in the party on Sonia Gandhi's leadership. However, there is no bar on leaders to express their views, he said when his attention was drawn to certain statements issued by one leader. The entire rank and file has full faith in her leadership and that is the case with the CPP also, he said.
Jogi said several office bearers have voluntarily resigned to enable Sonia Gandhi to revamp the organisational structure.
Referring to the setback in the just concluded Lok Sabha election, Jogi said the party humbly accepted the people's verdict.
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