New Delhi, July 17 (IANS) Union Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde is likely to be the new Leader of the House in the Lok Sabha after Pranab Mukherjee was nominated as the ruling UPA's presidential nominee, said government sources.
According to the sources, Shinde is likely to get the post despite the fact that his name figures after Home Minister P. Chidambaram and former cabinet minister Virbhadra Singh in the pecking order decided by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Sources said this order is generally based on which leader became a junior minister or a cabinet minister in the government at what point of time and also takes into account his administrative and parliamentary experience.
While there are concerns in the government that appointing Chidambaram as Leader of the House in the Lok Sabha may unite the opposition against the government, given allegations of his involvement in the 2G scam, Virbhadra Singh is no more in the cabinet after a Shimla court framed corruption charges against him recently.
The names of Corporate Affairs Minister M. Veerappa Moily and Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath come after Shinde in that pecking order, said the sources.
Shinde, a Dalit leader and former Maharashtra chief minister, is a veteran parliamentarian and enjoys popularity across parties in the house.
The crucial appointment of Leader of the House has to be made before parliament's monsoon session convenes August 8, said the sources.
According to the rules, Leader of the House shall be the prime minister, if he is a member of the house, or another minister, so appointed by the prime minister.