Short of three seats, Congress may be denied the ‘leader of the opposition’ status

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Short of three seats, Congress may be denied the 'leader of the opposition' status

The 17th Lok Sabha is in progress and it seems that once again Congress party could be denied the post of the Leader of the Opposition. In 2014, Congress party could not take up the coveted position as they had managed to win only 44 seats. The requisite number is 55.
This year too, the party has won only 52 seats, 3 seats short of the cut off mark.

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If this happens, then it would be the second time in a row that Congress would have to let go of the position.

The final call lies with the Lok Sabha speaker, who will be elected during the ongoing Parliament session. In the past the rule has been adhered to and this could dampen the chances of the party.

As per the laid down guidelines, a party needs to have one-tenth members of the total Lok Sabha strength, which is 55, to stake claim for the post. Because of this reason, the Congress was denied the seat in 2014 as they had only 44 seats.
This year too, a short fall of 3 seats could be a setback for them.

The issue was discussed in detail in 2014 when the Congress asked for the post, but the then speaker Sumitra Mahajan felt that rules and procedures did not allow any Congress leader to be recognized as the leader of the opposition. The same could apply now too.

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