New Delhi: The question of whether Congress leader in Lok Sabha will get Leader of Opposition status remained unanswered even as Parliament session started on Wednesday, with the government saying the Speaker will take a call on it.
A Leader of Opposition in either Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha enjoys the status of a Cabinet rank minister with equivalent salary and perks.
Normally the leader of the largest party after the ruling party or coaltion is recognised as the LoP. However for that, the second largest party should have secured at least 10 per cent of seats in the Lok Sabha, meaning 55 seats.
In the newly-elected Lok Sabha, no party has got 55 seats and the closest to the mark is Congress with 44 seats.
"First let there be the Speaker of the House. It is Speaker`s discretion to decide on LOP," Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu said here today, keeping the guessing game on.
He was replying when asked about the possibility of Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge being recognised as LOP.
Recalling the precedents, Naidu said "There was no Leader of Opposition during the tenure of Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and also Rajiv Gandhi period."