NEW DELHI: Anand Sharma and Mallikarjun Kharge have emerged as the top contenders to take over the post of Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha after Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad retires next month.
Discussions have begun in the party and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi is expected to tread cautiously given that Sharma was among the group of letter writers and is currently the deputy leader of the Congress in Rajya Sabha.
According to Congress insiders, the party has held discussions and Azad’s successor will be named soon.
Kharge was reportedly brought to the Rajya Sabha to replace Azad. Many in the party feel this was also one of the trigger points that led 23 senior leaders to write to Sonia.
Sources said that the high command is likely to keep in mind that bypassing Anand could increase internal infighting and further create trouble for the party. Some of the letter writers are said to be already upset that even after 6-7 months, there has not been much movement to address their issues.
Sharma has been eyeing the post, with sources saying that the former Union minister towing a line different from the party’s stand on some recent issues was seen as a pressure building tactic.