Congress to keep pursuing Leader of Opposition post

New Delhi, July 15 :

The Congress has not yet received any intimation from Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan over its formal stake for the Leader of Opposition post, party leader K.V. Thomas said Tuesday.

“I don’t know what her decision is. We are waiting to hear from her,” Thomas told IANS.

KV Thomas
KV Thomas

Thomas downplayed key Congress ally Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) not supporting his party in opposing the TRAI bill and said the two parties were “together” in espousing the Congress’s claim for the Leader of Opposition post.

“The NCP’s stand was in reference to a particular case. Not much should be read in it,” said Thomas, the Lok Sabha member from Ernakulum.

Asked what would be the Congress’ strategy in case no decision was forthcoming from Mahajan’s side, Thomas said the speaker “will have to take a decision”.

“The speaker will have to take a decision. The (parliament) session has started and everybody has to be taken together even though the government enjoys a brutal majority in the (lower) house,” Thomas said.

He did not rule out the option for legal recourse if the Congress was denied the Leader of Opposition post.

“That is a different matter. Right now we are waiting for the speaker’s decision,” Thomas said, without indicating how long the single largest opposition party was prepared to wait.

In keeping with the Congress’ stand on the issue, he reiterated that the talk of a minimum 10 percent seats in the Lok Sabha to qualify for the Leader of Opposition post was not reasonable.

“All these are some kind of definition without a legal basis. The usual practice is the principal opposition party with the largest number of seats gets it,” he said.

“We will keep pursuing it,” he said.


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