Almost certain, no LoP post to Cong
Armed with the opinion of Attorney-General Mukul Rohtagi, the Speaker said she would study it and take a decision. The Speaker pointed out that there have been precedents when there was no LoP in the House.
New Delhi: In what could be a serious setback for the Congress, it may not get the post of the Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the Lok Sabha, as Speaker Sumitra Mahajan dropped hints to the effect, saying she will be guided by rules and precedents while taking the decision in this regard. Breaking her silence for the first time on the issue of LoP , Sumitra Mahajan on Wednesday said she would take a decision in this regard within four days.
Armed with the opinion of Attorney-General Mukul Rohtagi, the Speaker said she would study it and take a decision.
The Speaker pointed out that there have been precedents when there was no LoP in the House. The Speaker said, “The first time the Lok Sabha had a LoP was in 1969. There was no LoP in 1980 or in 1984. Whenever a party did not have the requisite strength, the post was not given. Anyway, there is Opposition and there are Opposition parties now.”
Sonia Gandhi had raised the pitch recently when she declared, “We are the single-largest party and we have a pre-poll alliance. Hence, we are entitled to get the post of LoP in Lok Sabha.” A petition was also submitted to Speaker, signed by all the 60 MPs belonging to the UPA. The Congress is clamouring for the post as in the new context, the LoP is part of several important committees on Lokpal, CVC and such other key appointments. Besides, once it is recognized as the principal Opposition party, the Congress will also get the post of Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker.