New Delhi: UPA is a pre-poll alliance and has more than the adequate numbers to get the post of Leader of Opposition (LoP) in Lok Sabha, senior Congress leader Anand Sharma today said amid statements from government that people have not given any party the numbers to claim the position.
“If the constitutional needs have to be fully met then a response should be there and UPA is a pre-poll alliance and UPA together has more than the adequate numbers. “When the government formation takes place, whether NDA or UPA, its the pre-poll alliance which the President of India recognises. I am only saying that they have to find a solution,” Sharma told Karan Thapar on ‘Nothing But The Truth' programme on Headlines Today.
Parliamentary Affairs M Venkaiah Naidu had earlier taunted Congress saying that people have not chosen any party for the position of Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha. There have been indications that the government may not give the LoP post to Congress in keeping with the Mavalankar formula according to which it was required for the largest Opposition party to acquire at least 10 per cent of seats in the 543-member Lok Sabha.
According to formula, the post of LoP can be given to the which has at least 55 seats and Congress has got 44 runs, 11 short of that number.
Party spokesperson Shakeel Ahmed, had, however yesterday said that there in no 10 per cent bar for it as years after such observations made by India's first Speaker G V Mavalankar, an Act of Parliament passed in 1977 and amended up to 2002 makes it clear that the party Opposition party having the largest number will automatically get the LoP post in Lok Sabha.
Sharma said he was not asking for throwing away the precedents but one has to respond to situations like “...When you select a Lokpal, you select a director of CBI, when you appoint a CVC or even in judicial appointments.” He also rued that even before a decision had been taken, the ministers of NDA government were making statements on the LoP issue, which is the prerogative of the Speaker.
Sharma, who is the Deputy Leader of Congress in the Rajya Sabha also hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying he has not got out of the election mode and it's time they come out how they are going to proceed on their blueprint.