Congress entitled to get post of Leader of Opposition in LS: Sonia Gandhi

Congress has secured 44 seats in the 543-member Lok Sabha.

By: Press Trust of India | New Delhi | Updated: July 7, 2014 2:30 pm
We are the single largest party and we have a pre-poll alliance, said Sonia Gandhi. (Source: PTI photo) We are the single largest party and we have a pre-poll alliance, said Sonia Gandhi. (Source: PTI photo)

Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Monday made a strong pitch for the party being given the post of Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha contending that it is the single largest party in the opposition.

“We are the single largest party. We have got a pre-poll alliance. Hence, we are entitled to Leader of Opposition’s post,” Gandhi, who is also CPP Chairperson, said in her first comments on the issue. She, however, said the party has not decided yet whether to approach the judiciary in the matter.

Rejecting BJP’s allegation that the Congress was desperate for the post and has not accepted defeat, the Congress President said, “That is not true. We have lost the elections. We are are aware of that.” Senior Congress leader Kamal Nath dubbed as “lame excuse”
the BJP’s position that the issue was with the Lok Sabha Speaker.

“Just saying that there is a direction by the Speaker is a lame excuse to deny the Congress the position. The floor of the House is very different and Parliament is very different what it was two decades ago. “Today politics is different. Parliamentary practices are different. Speaker’s directions have been changed over years and merely because of the Speaker’s direction what they (BJP) are citing is not an adequate reason for not giving the Leader of Opposition post to Congress,” Nath told reporters outside Parliament House.

“I don’t see what the BJP is afraid of. Was anybody afraid of? It is a mere designation and they should agree to it…It is direction of the Speaker which they are leaning on,” he said. He said, “There is no law which says you need 10 per cent” seats in the Lok Sabha to stake claim for the post of Leader of Opposition.

Earlier in the day, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu had slammed Nath for his remarks that Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan’s decision on the issue of grant of Leader of Opposition status could be “flavoured” by BJP.

Responding to questions over Nath’s remarks on the LOP issue, Naidu had said, “It is unfortunate that such a comment has been made by a senior leader like Kamal Nath. He must have made such a comment based on his own experience. The matter will be dealt by the Speaker according to the rulebook and precedent. Once elected, the Speaker is above the party.”

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  1. J
    Jul 7, 2014 at 9:58 pm
    The Congress Party is well above a person who is trust on India, despite her real life Role of a honey trapper and groomed by KGB. Now working for the West.
  2. J
    Jul 7, 2014 at 9:56 pm
    There is a case pending in court and leader of opposition can not be in Tihar and the Parliament at the same time.
  3. A
    Alani Adana
    Jul 7, 2014 at 2:50 pm
    sonia wants to sauard her from the streamline of scams of herself starting 2000 cr herald scam.......being opposition leader will make her have a word in appointing key posts.
  4. R
    Jul 7, 2014 at 2:14 pm
    No one is enled to any thing least of all a elected/consutional position unless you have earned it; the resounding slap the congress got from the electorate is not proof enough then I don't know what will instill sense into them to practice humility for the next 5 yrs.
  5. B
    Jul 9, 2014 at 6:34 am
    Shameless Congress !!! Can't respect peoples mandate....They had no vision & no courage to work in favour of country.....Now they won't let the elected Govt work.
  6. G
    Jul 7, 2014 at 9:02 am
    congress has as much legitimate claim to LOP as rahul G has for the post of PM such a logjam, the right way forward would be to hold an election for LOP between opposition parties, voted only by opposition members. the post is needed for parliamentary democracy but there's no first-past-post for this one. congress doesn't qualify. either it must build consensus, or Speaker must ask Opposition parties to elect a LOP.
  7. S
    Jul 7, 2014 at 3:36 pm
    In fact she deserves a place in Tihar or Yervada prison for her party's sins committed durin last decade or so.
  8. N
    Jul 7, 2014 at 10:06 am
    BJP should never allow congress to hijack parliament for leader of opposition.Let congress approach apex court.
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