‘Congress had withdrawn such a post to the BJP in 2002 in Karnataka Upper House after its strength marginally reduced’

Stating that the Congress denied the BJP the post of the Leader of the Opposition in the Karnataka Legislative Council in 2002 as it fell short of the prescribed strength, the BJP has now questioned whether the Congress has the moral right to seek the position in the Lok Sabha though it has not won 10 per cent of the seats.

Ganesh Karnik, BJP MLC, recalled the 2002 episode when D.H. Shankaramurthy was the Leader of the Opposition in the Council and the BJP was the principal Opposition.

“In the biennial elections, the strength of the BJP reduced from the mandatory requirement of 10 to 9 members. Immediately, the Congress shot off a letter to the then Council Chairperson seeking withdrawal of the post from the BJP. Acting upon its demand, the presiding officer withdrew the status,” he told The Hindu.

“The Congress could have been magnanimous then and allowed us to keep the Leader of the Opposition’s post. Instead, its members including, V. S. Ugrappa, had sought its withdrawal,” Mr. Karnik said.

However, the BJP managed to regain the post soon as its strength increased in the subsequent elections to the Upper House, he said.

He wondered how the Congress could now demand the post of the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha when its own leaders were instrumental in withdrawing such a post to the BJP in the Karnataka Upper House. “This is nothing but double standards,” he said.

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