New Delhi: For a second time, Congress may fail to get the post of the Leader of the Opposition (LoP) in Lok Sabha. (Catch Complete Coverage of Lok Sabha Elections 2019 Here)
The reason is as simple as its dwindling seat share in the Lok Sabha. With just 52 seats in its kitty, the Congress missed the mark by three seats; a party needs 10% of the Lower House strength to stake a claim to the Leader of the Opposition post. So a party must get 55 seats in the 543-member Lok Sabha.
In 2014, the Congress had secured 44 seats. The BJP-led NDA refused to give the LoP post to the Congress for not meeting the criteria.
The LoP is a prestigious post and is a part of the selection panels for key appointments to bodies such as the Central Vigilance Commissioner and the Lokpal. The Congress fought tooth and nail for the post and the government finally relented, allowing Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge in the selection panels. But he wasn’t accorded the LoP status.
This time again, then, it depends upon the government if it agrees to accord the LoP status to the Congress.
Meanwhile, Congress is set to discuss its Lok Sabha debacle. The Congress Working Committee (CWC) is meeting on Saturday to discuss the party’s future.
Reports suggest that party president Rahul Gandhi might even offer to resign and his team of general secretaries and state in-charges may also do the same.
It must be noted that then Congress President and Vice-President Sonia Gandhi and Rahul respectively had also offered to resign after the party’s dismal performance in 2014 but the CWC unanimously rejected it.