Cong gets two front row seats in LS
The Congress will have only two front row seats and will have to share benches with the Left and smaller parties like the Aam Aadmi Party in the new Lok Sabha.
New Delhi: The Congress will have only two front row seats and will have to share benches with the Left and smaller parties like the Aam Aadmi Party in the new Lok Sabha.
Speaker Sumitra Mahajan has reportedly completed the task of allotting seats to the MPs of the 16th Lok Sabha after days of consultations and arithmetic. The Congress' depleted numbers mean that only two leaders, party president Sonia Gandhi and its Lok Sabha leader Mallikarjun Kharge, will have front seats. The Congress had reportedly asked for four seats in the front row, which is seen as a status symbol, but numerically, it only qualified for two. Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav has been allotted front seat even though he has just four members in the house, as an exception because of his seniority and years in Parliament.Former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda of the Janata Dal (Secular) also has a place in the front row because of his status The BJP-led coalition, which has 330-plus seats in the Lok Sabha, has been allotted 12 seats in the front row. These will be occupied, among others, by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his top ministers, and BJP veteran LK Advani. The Speaker faced a problem while trying to allot seats, with at least five parties reportedly refusing to sit next to the Congress, which was reduced to just 44 members, its lowest tally ever, in the national election. The AIADMK, Trinamool Congress, Biju Janata Dal, Telangana Rashtra Samiti and the YSR Congress allegedly said that their political positioning is equidistant from the BJP and the Congress and that must be reflected in the way they are seated. J Jayalalithaa's AIADMK with 37 MPs, the TMC with 34 and the BJD are the largest teams in the house.
Party can write off or assign loans: Sonia to HC
New Delhi: Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday opposed in the Delhi High Court the private criminal complaint against her and the summons issued by a trial court in the National Herald case saying a political party is within its right to "write-off" or "assign" a loan.
"The issuance of process in this case is shocking and out of order, to say the least, and no illegality can be found either on the facts or on the law," former Law Minister and senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the Congress President, told a bench of Justice V K Vaish. The trial court had issued summons to various Congress leaders on the complaint of Subramanian Swamy who has alleged misappropriation of funds in acquiring ownership of the National Herald.