Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: With government keen to go by the rule book in selection of Leader of Opposition, the stage appears set for a protracted battle with the Congress on the issue.
Congress leader Kamal Nath has made it clear that his party will go to court if LoP post is not given to them. As per the rule, a party should have a minimum of 10% strength in the 543-member Lok Sabha to be legible for the post. The Congress has only 44 seats, 11 short of the minimum required strength.
Nath also said that Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan`s decision on the issue of Leader of Opposition in Lower House could be "flavoured" by BJP and Narendra Modi.
Insisting that there is no rule which denies a party LoP status unless it has 10% of the total strength, the former parliamentary affairs minister said that while a Speaker is generally neutral when it comes to dealing with Parliamentary processes, it may be different in a contentious situation.
The government has not taken lightly to Kamal Nath`s comment against the Speaker.
Speaking to reporters after an all-party meet today, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu said government was ready to discuss any issue, adding that Kamal Nath`s comment on LoP issue unfortunate.
Naidu said that the issue was not raised by anybody during the all-party meet and stressed that the matter was for the Speaker to decide.