New Delhi: Congress president Sonia Gandhi appointed Gaurav Gogoi as the party’s deputy leader in the Lok Sabha and Ludhiana MP Ravneet Singh Bittu as its whip in the Lower House of Parliament on Thursday.
Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, the leader of the opposition party in the Lok Sabha, and K Suresh, its chief whip in the Lower House, confirmed the development.
The appointments came ahead of the Monsoon Session of Parliament, which is likely to commence from September 14. It is seen as a move by the Congress to strengthen its team of floor leaders in the Lower House, party leaders said.
The opposition party did not have a deputy leader in the Lok Sabha till now.
A three-time MP from Punjab, Bittu has been entrusted with the responsibility of the Congress whip in the Lok Sabha. An MP from Tamil Nadu, Manickam Tagore, is the other whip of the party in the Lower House.
Gogoi hails from Assam, where Assembly polls are due early next year. The MP from the Kaliabor Lok Sabha constituency was the party’s whip in the House till now and has been elevated.
Gogoi is the son of former Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi. He was blessed with a daughter earlier this week.
During the previous Lok Sabha, Amarinder Singh was the deputy leader of the Congress, before he became the chief minister of Punjab.
(Report has been updated to reflect that Manickam Tagore is a Congress MP from Tamil Nadu and not Kerala.)