Leader of Opposition: Congress` lack of numbers leaves Modi govt in a quandary
Zee Media Bureau/ Deepak Nagpal
New Delhi: The Narendra Modi government has still not made up its mind on giving the Leader of Opposition post to the Congress, sources said on Wednesday.
The government continues to hold discussions on the matter even though a final decision has to be taken by Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.
Previous reports had indicated that the Speaker has decided against giving the post to the Congress, or any other party.
This could lead to a scenario where the 16th Lok Sabha will not have a Leader of the Opposition.
As per rules, the post of Leader of Opposition is allotted to the biggest opposition party in the Lok Sabha. However, to qualify for the same the opposition party should have won seats totalling at least 10 per cent of the total strength of the House. That number stands at 55 seats.
In the 16th Lok Sabha, the Congress is the largest opposition party but it has only 44 MPs – 11 short of the required 55.
The party, however, is keen to hold the post and has argued that rather than its numbers, the total strength of the UPA coalition should be taken into consideration for allotting the post.
In the past too, the Lok Sabha did not have any Leader of Opposition when Jawahar Lal Nehru and Rajiv Gandhi were prime ministers – on both occasions, the Congress had absolute majority in the Lok Sabha.
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