Short of two MPs, Congress not to stake claim for Leader of Opposition in Parliament

Randeep Surjewala

Days after winning 52 Lok Sabha Seats in the recently held national polls, Congress on Saturday said that the party will not stake a claim for the Leader of opposition in the Parliament. Speaking to Press, AICC Spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said, ‘We will not stake a claim to the Leader of Opposition till we have the strength of 54 and since we don’t have we are not going to stake a claim’.

As per rules, at least 10% of the total strength of the House is needed to get a Leader of Opposition. However, the ruling party has the power to give Leader of opposition even the Opposition parties does not have that figure.

Surjewala further said, ‘It’s a fact that it’s 10% of the strength of House. Since we’re 2 short officially we can’t have a Leader of Opposition. However, onu also lies at doorsteps of govt-whether they want to designate a party formally as principal opposition or not”

Congress won 52 Lok Sabha Seats in the polls which are 2 short of 10% strength, to stake a claim for Leader of Opposition.

While earlier in the day, Congress held a meeting of all elected MPs in the Parliament.

Talking to media after the meeting K Suresh, said that “Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP) Chairperson Sonia Gandhi will consult senior leaders and nominate the Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, she will take the decision. We will claim the Leader of Opposition and Dy Speaker posts”.

This will be the second term for the Narendra Modi-led Government without a Leader of Opposition in the House.

While Congress Parliamentary Party earlier in the day elected Sonia Gandhi as its Leader. This will be Sonia Gandhi’s fourth consecutive term as a Leader of Congress Parliamentary Party.

All 52 MPs and other Top leaders including Rahul Gandhi, Manmohan Singh, Ghulam Nabi Azad, among others were present in the meeting held at the Central Hall of Parliament. All the elected MPs also discussed the party’s strategy for the upcoming Lok Sabha Session that is slated to begin from June 17th.

The Congress faced a crushing defeat in national polls and won 52 seats, which is only 8 more than it got in 2014 national polls. 



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