NEW DELHI: Congress on Saturday termed the opinion of Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi as 'politically motivated' and one to 'please his political masters' that the party had no claim to the post of Leader of Opposition (LoP) in Lok Sabha and said it will "fight it out" to get the post.
"The advice of the AG seems to be politically motivated. The Leader of Opposition's post is our party's right. We shall take whatever necessary steps that are to be taken. We will fight it out with whatever options are necessary," Congress deputy leader in Lok Sabha Capt Amarinder Singh said.
He said the times have changed and Leader of Opposition was much required for making fair appointments and Congress cannot allow BJP alone to make key appointments of its own. The party, Singh said, would meet shortly to carve its strategy on the issue.
"The AG's opinion is not worth the paper on which it is written. It is unfortunate that the AG has given an opinion to please his political masters. The AG is just providing an apology for the blatantly partisan approach of a confrontational government," Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma told reporters here.
He said, "I do not know to which law the AG has referred with regard to the LoP. The AG is expected to have a better understanding of law and statutes not to give such an opinion, which belittles his office."
WHAT AG SAID
Dealing a blow to Congress's bid to secure the LoP's post, the AG has opined that the party has no case for claiming the same. There is no precedence to back its case since the days of the first Lok Sabha, the AG has said, while conveying his views to Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan who had sought his opinion on the matter. More
Sharma accused the government of "trying to pressurise" Mahajan on the LoP issue even as he urged her to take a "fair" decision in the matter.
Maintaining that the appointments in which the LoP's role is mandated would get "vitiated" if made in the absence of the representative of the Opposition, Sharma said that the party has not ruled out the possibility of approaching the courts if it is denied the post.
Singh said the tradition of giving the LoP's post to the single largest opposition party was set by the first Speaker and as per statutory requirements it was necessary to have one in a democracy.
"All this reveals the intention of the government... They are trying to pressurise the Speaker... The Speaker should act impartially," Sharma said.
Sources said the AG has opined that Congress is not entitled to the LoP's post as it does not have the required 10 per cent (55) seats in the 543-member Lok Sabha. Congress has only 44 seats.
"We hope that the Speaker will reject this opinion, which is just to please the executive, and do what is correct. This is a test for the Speaker and for Indian parliamentary democracy," Sharma added.