Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury
Chowdhury was named the leader after party president Rahul Gandhi refused to take up the role.

The Indian National Congress (INC) named Bengal leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury as leader of the party in the 17th Lok Sabha on Tuesday, June 18.

Chowdhury, the sitting Member of Parliament (MP) from the Berhampore Lok Sabha constituency in West Bengal, was named the leader after party president Rahul Gandhi refused to take up the role.

The decision was taken during the Congress Parliamentary Strategy Group meeting on Tuesday.

The post of a Lok Sabha leader opened up after the former Congress floor leader Mallikarjun Kharge lost the recently concluded Lok Sabha election. Speculations were sparked about Choudhury or Kerela leader K Suresh being given a key role, after they accompanied senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad to the all-party meeting on June 16.

Chowdhury had received praise from Prime Minister Modi, who called him a "fighter", after the all-party meeting. "I greeted the Prime Minister. He then patted me on the back and said before everyone that Adhir is a fighter," Chowdhury was quoted as saying.

"I don't have any personal enmity with anyone. We are people's representatives and they (BJP) are also people's representatives. We will raise our voices, they will also do. We are going to speak in parliament, not fight in a war," he added.

K Suresh, party spokesperson Manish Tewari and Thiruvanathapuram MP Shashi Tharoor were also running for the post, along with Choudhury.

Tharoor, who was elected for the third consecutive term as a MP from Thiruvananthapuram, had earlier said in a television interview that he was ready to take the responsibility of the Leader of the Congress party in the Lok Sabha if the party offers him the job.