New Delhi, July 7 : Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Monday said her party should get the post of Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the Lok Sabha. “Congress should get the post of LoP,” Gandhi told reporters. When asked what if Congress does not get LoP post?” Gandhi replied: “We’ll see.”
The tussle over getting the post of Leader of Opposition (LoP) between the Congress and the Government has been going on for a while with the Congress pushing its case for the post on grounds that it has the most seats (44) in the opposition. Meanwhile, senior Congress leader Kamal Nath has been quoted by a television channel, as saying that if Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan rules against Congress on the Leader of Opposition issue, it would be right and proper for the Congress to go to the court.
He insisted that there is no rule, which says that a party cannot get Leader of Opposition status unless it has 10 per cent of the total strength of the 543-member Lok Sabha. Nath contended that Mahajan’s decision on the issue could be favoured by the BJP and Narendra Modi.
He was apparently responding to Minister for Parliamentary Affairs M Venkaiah Naidu‘ statement in Hyderabad on Sunday that the issue of giving Leader of Opposition (LoP) status is before the Lok Sabha Speaker, and everyone must abide by the presiding officer’s decision.
Currently the leader of the opposition is equivalent to the rank of a cabinet minister. The leader of opposition also has an important role to play in several key government appointments, such as Chief Vigilance Commissioner etc.