LoP issue: Speaker says Supreme Court questioned the Centre, not her

Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on Saturday cleared her stand on the appointment of the Leader of Opposition a day after the Supreme Court stressed on the importance of the post and questioned the Central government in this regard.

Zee Media Bureau/Tarun Khanna

New Delhi: Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on Saturday cleared her stand on the appointment of the Leader of Opposition a day after the Supreme Court stressed on the importance of the post and questioned the Central government in this regard.

While speaking to reporters at an event, Mahajan said that the Supreme Court`s observation was not against the Speaker.

“The apex court has not questioned the Speaker on LoP issue, but the government,” she said.

Mahajan said her job was only to decide if particular MP can become LoP or not.

“There are certain norms for appointing of LoP and there has to be 1/10 strength,” she added.

According to her, the Attorney General will inform the court about the government`s stand on importance of LoP in Lokpal`s appointment.

On Friday, an SC bench headed by Chief Justice RM Lodha had directed the Centre to make its stand clear on the issue within two weeks.

“The LoP is very important component (under Lokpal law) and needs objective consideration.” a bench headed by Chief Justice RM Lodha said.

“LoP is a very important issue and the issue needs objective consideration in view of current political situation where at present there is no Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha,” the apex court bench said.

The bench also observed that the issue of LoP is relevant not only in Lokpal law but also in other existing and incoming legislations.

It said the issue cannot be prolonged and the act cannot be put in cold storage, while posting case for final disposal for September 9.

A few days back, Mahajan had formally rejected the Grand Old Party`s demand saying that the post can`t be given to them as it does not have the required number of seats.

The Speaker was quoted as saying by an English news channel - “LoP position can`t be given to them. Decision is based on precedence, even the Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi agrees with it.”

She later reportedly communicated the decision to Congress leaders at a function yesterday.

Congress could merely bag 44 seats in the 543-member Lok Sabha and fell short by 11 to be granted the LoP post which requires a strength of 55.

However, Congress has been claiming that the pre-poll alliance of UPA had secured 56 seats and, therefore, it had the right to be the Leader of the Opposition.

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