Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde will be the new Leader of the House in Lok Sabha, after his predecessor Pranab Mukherjee became the President.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has nominated Shinde to the post, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal told reporters.
Shinde, 71, is a senior Congress leader from Maharashtra who represents Solapur Lok Sabha constituency in the state. A Dalit leader, he has earlier served as chief minister of Maharashtra and was member of the state assembly for seven terms.
Shinde, who was the power minister, was shifted to the home ministry on Tuesday. He has also served as the governor of Andhra Pradesh.
"I am grateful to the prime minister and Congress president Sonia Gandhi for nominating me as Leader of the House," he said.
Apparently, his wide experience during four decades in politics and his affable nature made the Congress leadership choose him over other contenders for the job that requires cooperation from the Opposition in transacting business on the floor.
Usually, the prime minister becomes the Leader of the House if he is a member of Lok Sabha. In other case, he nominates one of the members to be the leader. Dr Singh is a member of Rajya Sabha and hence he leads the House there.
Ever since Mukherjee's shift to Rasthrapati Bhavan became imminent, there has been immense speculation about who would become the new Leader of the House.