LoP issue: Congress, allies to write to LS Speaker seeking quick decision

Soon after Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Monday raised a strong pitch against the Narendra Modi-led NDA government`s mum on entitling the `Grand Old Party` with the post of Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the Lok Sabha, senior Congress leader Anand Sharma said Congress and its allies will give in writing to Lok Sabha Speaker for taking an immediate action over the said issue.

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: Soon after Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Monday raised a strong pitch against the Narendra Modi-led NDA government`s mum on entitling the `Grand Old Party` with the post of Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the Lok Sabha, senior Congress leader Anand Sharma said Congress and its allies will give in writing to Lok Sabha Speaker for taking an immediate action over the said issue.

Party spokesperson Anand Sharma`s remarks came at the AICC briefing on the first day of the Budget Session of Parliament today.

"Congress and its allies will give in writing to Lok Sabha
Speaker for an immediate decision on Leader of Opposition issue," Sharma said.

When asked whether the Speaker was acting at the behest of BJP, Sharma further said, "There is no doubt about that... No ruling of the Speaker can substitute or override an Act of Parliament. Anybody saying so lacks elementary understanding of the law and the statute."

Sharma added that the letter is ready and will be sent to the Speaker after all UPA MPs had signed it.

"Government`s intention is not correct. The thinking is undemocratic... Government is trying to subvert the appointments of Lokpal, CVC and other key posts by denying the LoP status to Congress. We will not allow that to happen. We will take all the steps in Parliament and agitate on whatever forum is available. But let the reply of the Speaker come first," he added, as per PTI.

“If the constitutional needs have to be fully met then a response should be there and UPA is a pre-poll alliance and UPA together has more than the adequate numbers,” Sharma had earlier said to an English news channel.
Reacting sharply over no clarity of Congress getting the LoP status in Lok Sabha, senior leader Kamal Nath had yesterday said the party must go to court if Speaker Sumitra Mahajan`s decision, which could be `flavoured` by BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, went against it.

Meanwhile, Sonia Gandhi who is also CPP Chairperson, in her maiden comment over the issue said, “We are the single largest party. We have got a pre-poll alliance. Hence, we are entitled to Leader of Opposition`s post.”
Earlier, there were indications that the government may not give the LoP post to Congress in keeping with the Mavalankar formula according to which it was required for the largest Opposition party to acquire at least 10 per cent of seats in the 543-member Lok Sabha.

According to formula, the post of LoP can be given to the which has at least 55 seats and Congress has got only 44 seats in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls which is 11 short of that number.

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