New Delhi: The Congress on Saturday said it will not formally stake claim for the post of Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha as it is two seats short of the required number of 54.
According to rules, a party needs to have 10 per cent of 545 members, the total strength of Lok Sabha, to qualify for the post of Leader of Opposition, which is a Cabinet rank position. But the Congress has got only 52 members.
Addressing a press conference at the party headquarters, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said, “We will not stake claim for the post of LoP in Lok Sabha as we are two short of 54 members required for the status.”
He was responding to a question on the LOP post in LS post.
Even in the last Lok Sabha, the Leader of the Congress party in the House, Mallikarjun Kharge, was not granted the Leader of Opposition status as the party had won only 44 seats in 2014.
Answering another query whether the party along with other opposition parties can stake claim for the status as Opposition block, he said, “The newly-elected Parliamentary Party will decide the party’s strategy.”
The Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP) met earlier in the day for the first time after the Lok Sabha elections and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi was elected as its leader.
However, suspense over the post of Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha continues. The party has authorised Sonia Gandhi to take the decision on Leader of Congress.