Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: Despite strong pitch from Congress president Sonia Gandhi demanding the post of Leader of Opposition (LoP) in Lok Sabha for her party, Narendra Modi-led NDA government is likely to reject the demand, reported a TV news channel on Tuesday.
The development came a day after UPA MPs decided to write to Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan seeking an immediate decision on the LoP issue.
Meanwhile, after raising her voice for the first time in the matter yesterday, Gandhi held a meeting with party MPs in Lok Sabha today. She also met President Pranab Mukherjee regarding this issue.
Gandhi, who is also CPP chairperson, had said, "We are the single largest party. We have got a pre-poll alliance. Hence, we are entitled to Leader of Opposition`s post."
Meanwhile, Congress leaders have been critical of the role of the Speaker and former Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath has even charged that Mahajan`s decision regarding the Leader of the Opposition`s post could be "flavoured" by BJP.
The party is also doubting the intentions of the Modi government while alleging that it is attempting to subvert the appointments of Lokpal, CVC and other key posts by denying the LoP status to Congress.
But, it seems that BJP is in no mood to give the LoP post to Congress after routing it badly in the General Elections 2014. In its worst ever performance Congress could bag only 44 seats while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), led by Narendra Modi, won the Lok Sabha elections, with 282 seats on its own.
As per the Mavalankar formula, to acquire the LoP post, the requirement for the largest Opposition party it to get at least 10 percent of seats in the 543-member Lok Sabha.
According to the formula, the post of LoP can be given to the party which has at least 55 seats and Congress, as per this equation is falling short of 11 seats.
However, Congress has already asserted that it would exercise all options to ensure a "democratically correct, logical conclusion" on the LoP issue and has even not ruled out the option of approaching the court if required.
Reacting to Congress` threat to go to court if Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan`s decision went against it on LoP issue, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad today said that anyone in the country can approach the judiciary.
“As far as Congress going to court is concerned, anyone can go to court,” Prasad said.
Adding that the final call on LoP issue will be of the Speaker, he said, "As a student of Indian parliamentary practices and as a MP for the last 14 years, these are my personal views that the party with 10 per cent (of the total number of members in the Lok Sabha) gets the post. It is a well-settled principle. But let me clarify that the call has to be taken by the Speaker," as quoted by an English news channel.