It will be undemocratic if the ruling party ignores our claim, says Congress

Amidst reports that the Modi government is not inclined to give the Congress the Leader of Opposition status in the Lok Sabha, the principal opposition party repeated its demand for the post: the Congress’s contention was that since the “official” LoP is consulted on key appointments such as that of the Lokpal and the Central Vigilance Commissioner, and head of the National Human Rights Commission, it would be “undemocratic” if the ruling party ignores its claim.

“If in the appointment of the Lokpal,” AICC Communication Department Chairman Ajay Maken said, “they ignore the Congress party, which has secured more than 19 percent votes in these Lok Sabha elections, one percent more than what the BJP had got in the last elections, it would not only be unfortunate but also undemocratic.”

Mr Maken was responding to questions on the party’s plan of action now as the government seemed unlikely to consult the Congress on key appointments such as that of the Lokpal.

The government’s spokespersons have thus far cited past precedent to demonstrate that an opposition party that has got less than the 10 per cent of the seats in the Lok Sabha has never been given the official LoP’s position. The Congress’s argument is that on the occasions that this has happened, the last being in 1984, when the second largest party, the Telugu Desam Party had got just 30 seats, there was no practice of consulting the principal opposition party on such key appointments.

More In: National | News