As Congress pushes for LoP post, Sonia Gandhi meets President Pranab

Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge is expected to meet Mahajan on Wednesday.

By: Press Trust of India | New Delhi | Published:July 8, 2014 9:52 pm
Sonia termed the meeting with the president a "routine courtesy call". (Source: PTI) Sonia termed the meeting with the president a “routine courtesy call”. (Source: PTI)

A day after she asserted that the Congress has a rightful claim over the Leader of Opposition (LoP) post in the Lok Sabha, Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday met President Pranab Mukherjee.

The Congress, meanwhile, is set to hand over a letter with signatures of all the UPA MPs to speaker Sumitra Mahajan to make a combined bid for the constitutional post. Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge is expected to meet Mahajan on Wednesday. Sources confirmed Kharge has sought an appointment with the Speaker.

Though sources close to Sonia termed the meeting with the president a “routine courtesy call”, it came after the Congress president met party MPs in the Lok Sabha. Sources said Sonia and Mukherjee discussed the prevailing political situation, indicating that the LoP issue figured in the discussion. The Congress is set to argue the The Salary and Allowances of Leaders of Opposition in Parliament Act, 1977 mandates the creation of such a post.

The party has also argued that the ruling of G V Mavlankar — the first Lok Sabha Speaker — that a party should have 10 per cent of the total seats to qualify for the post does not hold good now. The LoP, the Congress insists, is an “essential part of our Parliamentary fabric” and not a matter of “subjective discretion”.

“No ruling of the Speaker can substitute or override an Act of Parliament,” the Congress has claimed. The idea behind roping in allies to sign the memorandum was to circumvent the 10 per cent argument the Speaker might offer. The Congress has argued that the party, along with its pre-poll allies, satisfies the requirement of 55 seats. The memorandum will have signatures of 44 Congress MPs, six NCP members, four from the RJD and two each from the Muslim League, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, Kerala Congress (M) and RSP.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, meanwhile, said the government would be happy to have a recognised LoP in the House like in the Rajya Sabha. He also said he regretted that even without formally staking claim, some Congress leaders were talking of going to courts on the issue.

For all the latest India News, download Indian Express App

  1. S
    Aug 19, 2014 at 9:27 pm
    In today Bharat no place must be left for anti-Hindus. They have spoiled the country and want full payment. Give them job to cleanGanga Ma, so they can purified. The decision of the Lok SabhaSpeaker is final. Hindustan move ahead, let the anti-Hindus crying.
  2. P
    Aug 20, 2014 at 12:54 am
    How shameless has Sonia and the congress to be in saying (while begging with a aluminium bowl in both hands of all congress MPs) “essential part of our Parliamentary fabric” and not a matter of “subjective discretion” in the matter of post of LoP ! ! Did it (party) ever felt like it when there was no LoP in Lok Sabha during their rule? They dare quote (and demean) first Speaker of this great house in this matter? Do they not understand, despite having, so called legal experts in Manish Tiwari, AM singhavi, Kapil Sibbal and likes their heavy-weight MPs, that the ry/allowance Act cannot be one about appointment of its rightful gainer ! ! Its time to check the genuineness of Law Degrees of above MPs, retion of those colleges who awarded them it and the nexus between head of these insution and Law Ministers and Home Minister of the Govt. in those respective times.The President of India and Speaker of LS should not entertain congress for ONE minute on this subject, which has already said to approach court to snatch the post.
  3. P
    Aug 20, 2014 at 1:02 am
    I am not sure whether the selective IE Moderator and concerned Editor" may let my blog appear hear though there is nothing objectionable or un-parliamentary matter in it. Neither it will let me know by a simple mail that comment is moderated to appear. Hence I am copy pasting this blog and wait for 24 hours to go to other media which responds within five minutes in showing and intimating the same.
  4. N
    Aug 20, 2014 at 3:03 am
    If NCP,RJD and other allies of congress decide to merge there parties with congress, then they can claim the LOP post. Let these parties merge together.
  5. S
    Aug 19, 2014 at 11:22 pm
    Con(SCAM)gress party is shamelessly trying for LoP post. The party could not do anything good for the country during its regime, but is now trying for LoP. These acts are only to see to it that Sonia can save herself from all court problems that are likely to come up.
  6. R
    Ravi Ranjan
    Aug 20, 2014 at 3:46 am
    Sonia probably feels Pranab Mukherjee still is a member of the Congress and would act at her command.
  7. T
    Tapan Kumar
    Aug 8, 2014 at 5:03 pm
    How can president help?Have they lost all sense having enjo selfish interest all these years?
  8. Load More Comments