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Promotion for Sushma, Munde in opposition ranks

New Delhi, Feb 22 (Calcutta Tube) Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Sushma Swaraj Monday occupied the seat earmarked for leader of opposition in the front row in the Lok Sabha, reflecting the generational change in the country’s main opposition party.

Veteran BJP leader L.K. Advani, who was earlier the leader of opposition, sat on the third seat in the first row, next to Swaraj. The first seat in the opposition bench is reserved for the deputy speaker.

Monday was the first day of the budget session.

Gopinath Munde, the new deputy leader of the party, has been elevated to the front row. Munde, who had been sitting in the second row till the last session, now sits on the fourth seat on the first row near Advani.

Party general secretary Ananth Kumar, who used to sit in the front row moved to the second row, on the seat earlier occupied by Munde.

Former BJP presidents Rajnath Singh and Murli Manohar Joshi, however, retained their seats in the front row.

On Dec 18, Advani handed over the baton of the leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha to Swaraj and assumed charge as the first chairman of the BJP parliamentary party.

Swaraj was earlier the deputy leader of BJP in Lok Sabha.

During the winter session of parliament, expelled BJP leader Jaswant Singh had lost his front row seat in the opposition ranks and had to move to the third row.

Singh, 71, was given seat number 371 in the third row in the Lok Sabha which falls in the fifth block accommodating members from smaller parties. He was not present in the house Monday.

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