Congress leader Ravneet Singh Bittu was appointed Leader of the party in the Lok Sabha on Thursday, replacing Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, for the ongoing budget session of parliament.
Mr Chowdhury, chief of the Bengal unit of the Congress, will be tied up with election campaigning for the next two months, party sources said.
Mr Bittu, 45, will be in charge of the party’s strategy in the lower house as deputy leader of the Congress in Lok Sabha Gaurav Gogoi will also be busy with elections in Assam.
The three-time MP was first elected to the Lok Sabha in 2009 from the Anandpur Sahib constituency and then from Ludhiana in 2014 and 2019.
Mr Bittu, the grandson of former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh who was assassinated in 1995, was appointed whip of the Congress in the Lok Sabha in August.
A youth leader from Punjab, he was the first leader to be elected in the Punjab Youth Congress through the democratic elections which Rahul Gandhi introduced.
The Punjab Congress congratulated Mr Bittu for his appointment.
— Punjab Congress (@INCPunjab) March 11, 2021
He has been at the forefront of the farmers’ agitation, protesting in Delhi’s Jantar Mantar and was attacked during a demonstration at the Singhu border on the outskirts of the capital.
In 2009, as president of the Punjab Youth Congress, he started a campaign against drug addiction and helped organise a hunger strike in 2011 for setting up a Drug Prevention Board in the state.