Congress may move court if denied opposition leader status

New Delhi: The Congress is considering the option of going to court if its leader in the Lok Sabha is not recogised as leader of opposition in the house, party sources said.

“Knocking the court’s door is one of the options, but we will wait and watch for now,” said a Congress leader who did not wish to be named. The source, however, added that the issue was being discussed in the party fora and a final decision has not been taken.

The Congress, with 44 members, is the second largest party in the Lok Sabha. However, it falls short of the 10 percent mark — 55 members in the 545-member house — which the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party has cited as mandatory as per rules for getting the leader of opposition status to its leader in the house.

Congress leaders have said that their leader in Lok Sabha should be recognised as the leader of opposition. Congress leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and chief whip Jyotiraditya Scindia have met Speaker Sumitra Mahajan who has to take a decision on the issue.

A union minister, however, said the Congress has not formally broached the issue with the speaker so far.

Mahajan Saturday steered clear of the issue while talking to reporters after all-party meeting convened by her.

“The meeting of leaders of political parties was convened to discuss the business of the House,” she said in answer to queries.

The minister hinted that it may not be be easy for the Congress’ leader in Lok Sabha to be recognised as leader of opposition with requisite facilities as there were similar precedents.

He said that Telugu Desam Party (TDP) was not accorded the status when Congress got a landslide victory in the 1980s.

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