Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday asked the Congress to honour the decision of the Speaker not to grant the status of Leader of Opposition to it in the Lok Sabha.
“As per the Constitution, a party must get 10 per cent seat (for Leader of Opposition status). But unfortunately it did not happen. So, they should accept it,” he said.
His remarks came on a day the Supreme Court decided to go into the issue of interpreting the provision of Leader of Opposition (LoP) in Lok Sabha in the matter of selection of statutory bodies when there is no recognised LoP.
Emphasising the importance of the LoP post, a bench headed by Chief Justice R M Lodha said Leader of Opposition conveys the voice of a representative different from government in the House and asked the Centre to make its stand clear within two weeks.
The court also observed that the issue of LoP is relevant not only in Lokpal law but also in other existing and incoming legislations. Congress, as the second largest party in the Lok Sabha with 44 seats, has been making a strong bid for the LoP post but the ruling BJP has opposed it, saying it does not have the requisite 10 per cent seats which meant it needed 55 to stake claim.
The Congress on Friday claimed that the Supreme Court’s observations have vindicated its stand. “The decision of the Speaker was in utter disregard to law and appears to be clearly influenced and coloured by the partisan agenda of the BJP-led government,” Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma said.