Speaker Sumitra Mahajan defends decision on LoP, says SC made no observations against her

She defended her decision of not according LoP's status to the leader of the Congress party in the House for want of numbers.

By: Press Trust of India | Indore | Published:August 23, 2014 4:37 pm
Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said in 1980 and 1984 there was no Leader of Opposition in the House because no party had the required strength. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said in 1980 and 1984 there was no Leader of Opposition in the House because no party had the required strength.

A day after the Supreme Court decided to interpret the provision of Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said on Saturday her denying LoP’s post to Congress was based on rules and tradition and that the apex court had made no observation against her.

“The Supreme Court has questioned the Centre on the issue of Lokpal’s appointment in the absence of LoP and the Attorney General will inform the court about the government’s stand. It has made no observation against the Speaker,” She told journalists.

She defended her decision of not according LoP’s status to the leader of the Congress party in the House for want of numbers.

“I have taken the decision afters studying the rules and traditions and after taking experts opinion on the issue.

No opposition party has more than 55. Till date the rule that a party should have a minimum of 10 per cent seats in the House (for being accorded the status of LoP) has not changed,” she said.

In any case, Mahajan said, the Opposition exists in the Lok Sabha and is doing its work properly except for the fact that there is no Leader of Opposition.

The Speaker also said in 1980 and 1984 there was no Leader of Opposition in the House because no party had the required strength.

In a significant development, the Supreme Court had yesterday decided to go into the issue of interpreting the provision of LoP in Lok Sabha in the matter of selection of statutory bodies when there is no recognised LoP.

Asking the government to make its stand clear within two weeks, a bench headed by Chief Justice R M Lodha had emphasised the importance of the post saying Leader of Opposition conveys the voice of representation different from government in the House.

The government had to put on hold the appointment of a new chief of Central Information Commission yesterday due to the absence of LoP in the selection committee, leaving the transparency watchdog headless for the first time since its inception in 2005.

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    Brijkhanna
    Aug 23, 2014 at 12:56 pm
    Honorable Speaker of Lok Sabha has followed the guidlines as stited in the consution. Yes in case of appointment of Consutional Posts, such as LOKPAL, CIC, CAG, CVC ETC. Leader of largest group be treated as Leader of Opposition and he should be incorporated in the appointment committee.
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      BN Anand
      Aug 23, 2014 at 12:51 pm
      It is good that the apex court would suggest a solution to this unexpected situation. It will help govt as well. However the speaker can not be faulted and neither the apex court has any thing to say in this respect. The speaker decided according to rules and legal opinion and if any change to the rule is needed, let either the court decide or the parliament should amend the existing rules to make room for this position in case any opposition party lacks the numbers to qualify for this position according to prevailing rules. Hopefully, this does not turn into a confrontation between judiciary and Parliament. As the speaker is the supreme authority in Lok Sabha like CJI is the chief authority in the apex court.
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        BN Anand
        Aug 25, 2014 at 3:28 am
        Sir, by the same logic then Ms Meira Kumar was a congress agent. Please do not be petty minded and try to live with the basic facts which govern politics in our country.
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          Santano Fernandes
          Aug 23, 2014 at 5:50 pm
          She don't know the law, the supreme cannot criticize the decision of Speaker of the house either parliament or legislature embly, the speaker should know the law properly as the Supreme made comments against government who hoisted a partial speaker on the house. So it is indirectly hit the speaker decision going with the wish of the Government. This she should know or someone from the common public should teach her
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            Jaswinder Singh
            Aug 23, 2014 at 7:03 pm
            ''LoP is of UPA and not Cong (I) and its NDA government which has formed government and not BJP. Even I don't want Cong(I) LOP rather some UPA get seat will be good and you can not be without opposition as of now people are in mode of HOPE (I am as well) that this government delivers. State elections are causing these issue and not that NDA does not want LoP they want mistaker's in Place, for that Rahul hi is best. :)''
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              Mohammed Khader
              Aug 23, 2014 at 7:54 pm
              Sumitra is BJP agent.
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                Dr.C.S.Rangarajan
                Aug 23, 2014 at 1:15 pm
                The existence of more than one opposition party alleging ideological differences will make election of a leader of the opposition party difficult.The single largest opposition party can be given the LOP status with the concurrence of the other parties if the main oppositionparty is prepared to forgo the perks ociated with the office of LOP.
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                  Siurinder Nath
                  Aug 23, 2014 at 8:34 pm
                  Why not elect a leader of the opposition from among the elected members not in the Government. This is a democratic way to elect a spokesperson for all the opposition parties. It will serves the purpose where an opposition leader is required to formalise the the proceedings requiring his presence.
                  Reply
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