Congress to go to court if not given LoP post
Insisting that there is no rule, which says that a party cannot get LoP status unless it has 10 per cent of the total strength of the 543-member Lok Sabha, the former parliamentary affairs minister Kamal Nath said that while a Speaker is generally neutral when it comes to dealing with Parliamentary processes, it may be different in a contentious situation.
‘We know the Speaker is from the BJP and the Speaker is appointed by a political party. When it is a contentious situation, it (the decision on LoP) will be flavoured by the BJP and Modi,’ Nath told a news channel. He was replying to a question on why he was raising fingers on the intention of the government in this matter when the decision on LoP will be taken by the Speaker.
While Nath added that what he was saying ‘does not mean that she is acting on the behest of somebody. But there is always a flavour.’ He also said that if the Speaker rules against Congress on the LoP issue, it would be right and proper for the Congress to go to the court. ‘Certainly, we must. It should be one of the options,’ added Nath. At the same time he said that Congress won’t retaliate or be obstructive in Parliament simply because the LoP status is denied to it as party President Sonia Gandhi won’t like it.
Rebutting this, union parliamentary affairs minister M Venkaiah Naidu said everyone must abide by the presiding officer’s decision. ‘There was no Opposition Leader during Nehruji’s regime. There was no Opposition Leader during Indira Gandhi’s era. Opposition Leader was not there in Rajiv Gandhi’s rule,’ said Naidu.
‘It is people’s verdict and matter related to Constitution. Speaker’s decision should be adhered to and let’s see how the Speaker decides. There are some conventions, rules and regulations, precedents and directions of the Speaker. They are all there before us. Everybody has to go by that,’ he added.