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Speaker expected to soon finalise seating arrangement in LS

Last Updated: Sunday, July 20, 2014 - 13:54

New Delhi: Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan is expected to finalise the seating arrangement in the new House this week even as there is no clarity as to when a decision on the issue of Leader of the Opposition will be taken.

Parliament sources said Mahajan faces a tricky situation in view of the fact that AIADMK, Trinamool Congress and BJD are not keen about the idea of sitting next to Congress.
Neither the AIADMK nor the Trinamool Congress and Biju Janata Dal appear to be willing to have seats in Lok Sabha along with Congress, the sources said.

Officials concerned have held several rounds of meeting to sort out the matter and the decision is expected this week.

Parliamentary observers say Congress has been the main rival of the BJD in Odisha while Mamata Banerjee`s Trinamool Congress sometimes acts in support of the government and sometimes sides with the opposition.

While discussions for the election of Deputy Speaker are expected to begin this week, reports had it that the post could go to M Thambidurai of AIADMK in the wake of a `good` meeting party chief and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had with Prime Minister Narendra Modi sometime back.

Talk is that a formula has been evolved under which a party can have a front row seat in proportion to the seats secured by it. If that would be the case, then the Congress would not be able to secure more than two seats in the front row.

Parliament sources, however, said there is unlikely to be
any immediate decision on the room allotment in Parliament House to different parties.

Trinamool Congress has been campaigning unsuccessfully since the last Lok Sabha for a bigger room in Parliament House and had in the earlier House wanted TDP to vacate the room allotted to it.
In the new House, TDP has not only increased its tally substantially, it is now also part of the ruling NDA.

"Do not expect an issue which could not be solved in the last five years of the earlier House, could be resolved in just two month`s time", a Parliament official remarked.

The 16th Lok Sabha has seen BJP winning majority on its own after a gap of three decades and the opposition has become a fragmented entity.

While Congress has secured 44 seats in the 543-member House, AIADMK has 37, Trinamool Congress 34 and BJD 20 and there are a host of smaller parties in the opposition.

Meanwhile, a decision on the issue of Leader of Opposition is yet to be taken.
Congress leaders are insisting that the party should be given the Leader of the Opposition post as the UPA has the requisite numbers.

First Published: Sunday, July 20, 2014 - 13:54

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