New Delhi: Having parted ways with Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal, Congress on Friday said it would decide in a couple of days whether to stake claim to the post of Leader of the Opposition in the state assembly.
Senior Congress leader Shakeel Ahmed, who is in charge of party affairs in West Bengal, told reporters here that several partymen from the state have pleaded with him that the party should formally take the opposition space by laying claim to the post.
Congress had fought the assembly polls in the state last year as a junior partner in an alliance with Trinamool Congress under the leadership of Banerjee whose party walked out of the UPA at the Centre early this month. Congress secured 42 seats in the assembly polls while Left Front led by CPI-M had secured 62 in the 294 member-Assembly.
Ahmed said consultations will be held with the party leadership on the issue of the Leader of the Opposition, a post currently being occupied by Suryakant Mishra of CPI-M.
If Congress formally occupies the opposition space in West Bengal, it would be the second such instance in recent years in any state that a constituent of ruling alliance turns an opposition party after the polls.
In Tamil Nadu, DMDK led by Vijayakant had contested the assembly polls last year along with Jayalalithaa`s AIADMK but later they parted ways and Vijayakant became the leader of the Opposition in the state.
If Congress decides to lay claim to the Leader of the opposition post in West Bengal, the assembly Speaker will have to decide the issue of the Leader of the Opposition.
CPI-M and its Left Front allies had contested the elections as a pre-poll combine and Front taken together has more seats than Congress.