New Delhi: In order to leave no stone unturned to get the post of Lok Sabha's Leader of Opposition for her party, Congress president Sonia Gandhi met President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday.
The UPA chairperson had yesterday raised a strong pitch against the silence of Narendra Modi-led NDA government on the subject. She had also held a meeting with party MPs in Lok Sabha yesterday. The meeting was held after UPA MPs decided to write to Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan seeking an immediate decision on the issue.
Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma had yesterday said that the letter is ready and will be sent to the Speaker after all UPA MPs had signed it. Ahead of the Union Budget 2014, Gandhi has maintained throughout that her party was the single largest Opposition party in the Lok Sabha and hence was entitled for the post of the Leader of Opposition in the Lower House.
Reacting sharply over no clarity of Congress getting the LoP status in Lok Sabha, senior leader Kamal Nath had indicated that the party could go to court if Speaker Sumitra Mahajan's decision went against it. As per reports, there were 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 percent of seats in the 543-member Lok Sabha.
According to formula, the post of LoP can be given to the party which has at least 55 seats and Congress has got only 44 seats in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls which is 11 short of that number.
Earlier, Congress President Sonia Gandhi also had held a meeting with party MPs in Lok Sabha. The meeting comes after UPA MPs decided to write to Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan seeking an immediate decision on the issue. Party leaders said that Gandhi's meeting with the MPs was informal in nature. Congress had said yesterday that the letter is ready and will be sent to the Speaker after signatures of all UPA MPs.
"We are the single largest party. We have got a pre-poll alliance. Hence, we are entitled to Leader of Opposition's post," Sonia Gandhi, who is also CPP chairperson, had said yesterday. Congress has already asserted that it would exercise all options to ensure a "democratically correct, logical conclusion" on the issue and has not ruled out the option of approaching the court on the matter.
The Congress party is also doubting the intentions of the Government. It is alleging that the government is attempting to subvert the appointments of Lokpal, CVC and other key posts by denying the LoP status to Congress. "Government's intention is not correct. The thinking is undemocratic... Government is trying to subvert the appointments of Lokpal, CVC and other key posts by denying the LoP status to Congress. We will not allow that to happen. We will take all the steps in Parliament and agitate on whatever forum is available. But let the reply of the Speaker come first," party spokesman Anand Sharma had said.