NEW DELHI: Formally staking the Congress party’s claim to the post of Leader of Opposition, an issue which has been embroiled in different interpretations of law, Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge on Wednesday met Speaker Sumitra Mahajan. “We have submitted a memorandum containing the signatures of 60 UPA MPs. It is for her to take a decision on the matter,” he said following his meeting with Mahajan.
On the reasons given by the party in the memorandum, Kharge said the Speaker has been told that the Congress is the single largest party and the Leader of Opposition post is now more important since the LoP is part of the decision-making process in the appointment of the CVC and Lokpal. He said the Salary and Allowances of Leaders of Opposition in Parliament Act, 1977, makes it abundantly clear that the single largest party should be given the LoP post. “The representative of the party, which has the largest number of MPs in the Opposition, should be recognised as Leader of Opposition”, he said, adding, no rules can override a statute.
Deputy Leader of the Congress in the LS Amarinder Singh, who along with party chief whip Jyotiraditya Scindia accompanied Kharge, felt there would be no problem in taking an early decision in the wake of the memorandum. “I do not think there will be any problem,” he said. Kharge’s meeting with the Speaker came a day after Congress president Sonia Gandhi held a meeting with party MPs on the issue.