Keeping the Congress on tenterhooks, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan will take a decision on the issue of giving the post of Leader of Opposition to the party after studying rules, regulations and precedents.
Elected to the post unanimously a week ago, she says she would consult constitutional authorities, legal experts and “experienced persons” before deciding the issue ahead of the Budget session, expected to start on July 7.
“Definitely we will have to think over it. There are rules and regulations. One says ten %, another says single largest group. And there are past precedents which I will have to study. Only after that I will be able to take a decision”, Mahajan told PTI in an interview.
She was replying to a question whether it was necessary for a party to win a minimum of ten % seats of the 543-member House to get the Leader of the Opposition status.
Mahajan appeared not impressed by the Congress argument that though it has secured 44 seats, the UPA, which is a pre-poll alliance, has secured 58 seats.
“Rules say, If I am not wrong, whether a party has that many seats. They do not talk of a coalition. Leader of the Opposition belongs to the main opposition party and it is the party that is recognised, not the alliance”, she said.
“Percentage of vote of a party may be large or small. It should not be neglected at all. We are living in democracy. Even one vote is important we know that. Two or three-member parties are also equally important to me. I cannot ignore in the House any small or large party.”, she said.