Underlining that every robust Parliament has a Leader of Opposition, the Congress Sunday said “pampering the ego of BJP” by not having one in Lok Sabha will not do justice to the world’s largest democracy and semblance of balance in the House.
Congress leader and former Union minister Sachin Pilot said not allowing a Leader of Opposition means the government is taking away that semblance of Parliament being a truly democratic institution.
“There is no law but just a Speaker’s ruling and that can be done. It also depends whe-ther you want to have a real Opposition or not. Forget ab-out the perks and emoluments that you get as Leader of Opposition, that can be taken away… but there must be a semblance of balance in Parliament,” he said.
Underlining that the Narendra Modi government has a clear majority and nobody can change the numbers, he told PTI in an interview that the Centre can pass laws that they want but there must be an equitable distribution of voice in Parliament.
Pilot, who is also Rajasthan PCC chief, said, “I think there has to be a recognition of the fact that you need to have a Parliament, a Leader of Opposition and you can’t hide the technicality of the ruling of the Speaker… Ultimately the government will say it is Speaker’s choice but we all know that the Speaker has been decided by the BJP. So, time will tell…but the signals we are getting from the government are that they are not in favour.”
He said every “robust Parliament” has a Leader of Opposition and “I think we won’t do justice by just pampering the ego of BJP…”
Told about BJP’s stand that there was no Leader of Opposition during the regime of Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, he said, “This is 2014, different environment, different electorate. In 1952, there were people drawn from even the Left. You compare this situation to the 80s when the Congress had more than 400 MPs but today there are 40 parties in Parliament.”
While Delhi was ruled by the Congress during the major part of the period under study, Jain said the white paper was not a political move.