New Delhi: The massive victory by BJP has left Congress with one more problem. This time too the party may not be able to find the post of Leader of Opposition (LoP) as it could not garner the requisite 54 votes needed to be designated official Opposition in the Lok Sabha.
Leader of Opposition (LoP) heads the official Opposition in the Lok Sabha. As per rules, a political party needs to win at least 10 per cent of the total seats in Lok Sabha to get the Leader of Opposition position. This comes out to be 54 out of 543 house.
This time too the Congress was hovering at around 50 even though the final results were yet to come.
In 2014 general elections the Congress had got 44 seats. Congress had picked up Mallikarjun Kharge as the leader of the party in Lok Sabha even though he was never designated as LoP. Yet, by the virtue of being the leader of the single largest party in Opposition, Kharge attended the meetings to decide crucial issues like Lokpal, CBI Director and Supreme Court judges.
The Lok Sabha has faced this situation before too. Besides 2014, the lower house had no LoP when Jawahar Lal Nehru and Rajiv Gandhi were Prime Ministers. In fact, between August 1979 to December 1989 during the 7th and 8th Lok Sabhas when there were no LoPs as the Congress remained in absolute majority in the house while the Opposition did not have enough numbers.