New Delhi, Nov 22: At a time when legacy war between Congress and BJP has yet not got over, another big fight seems to be in the offing. A seat which is meant for the leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha has been allotted to their leader Mallikarjun Kharge, though the LoP status has been denied. Kharge, who is leader of Congress party in the lower House, will sit next to that of the Deputy Speaker in the Opposition benches.
This has been decided by Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan. With this new sitting arrangement, now Mallikarjun Kharge will sit in the front row along with big political stalwarts I.e Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Samajwadi party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and Janata Dal(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda. Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi has got seat in the second row.
The BJP veteran LK Advani, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swara will be seated in the Front row along with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
This new decision has come up just two days before the Winter Session of the Parliament which is scheduled from Monday. Reports say that along with new seat, they have also been allotted division numbers, which will help them at the time of the voting in the House.
Congress party has been insisting that it should be given the status of Leader of Opposition as it is the second largest group in the Lok Sabha with 44 seats after BJP's 282. But the party was denied LoP post by the speaker saying it didn't get the required 10 per cent (55 seats) in the 543-member Lok Sabha. Even constitutional experts had supported this view of the speaker.
In Parliamentary election, Narendra Modi led BJP had pushed the dynasty party to lowest ever tally(44) in its history. The saffron party had got 282 seats along with its allies SAD ans Shiv Sena.
Recently, unfazed by denial of LoP post, Congress formed seven shadow cabinet committees to keep a watch on decisions and policies of key ministries of the Narendra Modi government. Reports say that former Ministers of the party, including A K Antony, M Veerappa Moily, Anand Sharma, Oscar Fernandes as also Congress leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and leader of the opposition in Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad, are prominent members of these committees.