The official line on whether there will be an official Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha has been that the Speaker will take a decision going by “past practices and precedents” and in “consultation with the government.”
Initially, sources in the Parliamentary Affairs Ministry had said it was within the Speaker’s powers to concede the status to the Congress.
Even as Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu said the Congress had not been able to understand the spirit of the mandate, the party on Monday once again made a claim for the post. Mr. Naidu said it was the prerogative of the Speaker.
“We feel this is an important post ... and should not be denied to the largest party in the Opposition,” Congress spokesman Anand Sharma told journalists, adding: “There is a constitutional role the Leader of the Opposition plays, but we leave it to their wisdom. What is the government view will be known through the Speaker.”
Meanwhile, in the Rajya Sabha, Finance and Defence Minister Arun Jaitley was officially named the Leader of the House on Monday while senior Congress leader and former Union Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad was declared Leader of the Opposition.
Keywords: Leader of opposition