New Delhi: Amid no signal so far on granting of Leader of the Opposition post to Congress, its leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge met Speaker Sumitra Mahajan today.
Congress Chief whip Jyotiraditya Scindia as also four members of the UPA were part of the delegation led by Kharge at the meeting held just four days ahead of the commencement of Budget session of Parliament.
While there was no word from Congress, Parliament sources said a discussion on seating arrangement in the House took place at the meeting. The arrangement has not so far been finalised due to conflicting stands among various parties.
The Speaker has to take a call on the Leader of the Opposition issue and Mahajan has already said she will take a decision before the Budget session after consulting constitutional experts, legal luminaries and “experienced” persons.
Kharge's meeting with the Speaker came two days ahead of the meeting of leaders of all parties on Saturday to ensure smooth running of the Budget session scheduled from July 7 to Aug 14.
A senior Congress leader, who declined to be identified, said there was a “fit case” for Congress to be granted the Leader of the Opposition post in the Lok Sabha.
Citing provisions from The Salary and Allowances of the Leaders Of Opposition in Parliament Act, 1977, and rules made thereunder, the Congress leader said the leader of the party in Opposition which has the greatest numerical strength gets the post of LoP.
While Congress has secured 44 seats in the 543-member Lok Sabha, government managers have said it was less than the requisite strength of 10 per cent of the House.
Congress leaders are also insisting that given the fact that the Congress-led UPA was a pre-poll alliance, the party should be given the Leader of the Opposition post as the UPA has the requisite numbers.
Later when asked by PTI in Bangalore, Kharge said the meeting with the Speaker was a courtesy call ahead of the Budget session.
He replied in the negative when asked whether the issue of the Leader of the Opposition came up for discussion during the meeting.