Will consult high command on next course, Kharge on LOP issue

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Bangalore, Aug 19: Congress leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge on Tuesday said he was not disappointed at Speaker Sumitra Mahajan's decision not to accord the status of Leader of Opposition to him as the party group's chief in the House and he would consult the High Command on the next course of action.

"...I will see the letter and consult the High Command... what further action is needed.," Kharge said.

Kharge said since he has not seen the contents of the letter, he did not know the grounds on which Mahajan had rejected the demand of the Congress whose President Sonia Gandhi had written to the Speaker staking their claim for the status of the Leader of Opposition to him.

Asked if he was disappointed with the Speaker's response, he said, "No disappointment. There is no disappointment in my political life (of several decades). I have seen the posts of state minister, cabinet minister and others. Such a thing is not new."

Kharge, however, said he did not know why the criterion of 10 per cent seats to be secured by opposition party to be eligible for the Leader of Opposition status was being insisted upon.

There are different acts like Lokpal which require consultation with the Leader of the Opposition," Kharge said.

Asked if exercising legal option would be considered, he said, "without seeing the contents of the letter, how can I say?." To a query, he said the letter had not been received at his Delhi residence and he was not aware whether the party had received it or not.


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