India: Congress declares Rahul Gandhi to be Leader of Opposition in 18th Lok Sabha

World Tuesday 25/June/2024 20:48 PM
India: Congress declares Rahul Gandhi to be Leader of Opposition in 18th Lok Sabha

New Delhi: Congress on Tuesday declared that Rahul Gandhi, party's MP from Raebareli will be Leader of the Opposition in the 18th Lok Sabha, ending the 10-year spell of no LoP in the Lower House since 2014.

"Congress MP Rahul Gandhi has been appointed as the LoP in the Lok Sabha.." Venugopal said while addressing the media here in the national capital.

Notably, Lok Sabha did not have Leader of Opposition in the last 10 years because no political party, other than the ruling party, was able to secure the minimum Lok Sabha seats required to nominate a Leader of the Opposition.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections, the Congress emerged as the second-largest party with 52 seats. This was three short of the requisite numbers. In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the Congress, again the second largest party, won 44 Lok Sabha seats -- way below the mark.

After the 2024 Lok Sabha Polls, the Congress emerged as the second-largest party in the election and improved its tally to 100, from 52 in the 2019 Lok Sabha poll. The total tally of the INDIA bloc stood at 234.

The announcement of Rahul Gandhi as LoP comes a day before the election for the post of Lok Sabha Speaker.

Rahul Gandhi won from both Raebareli and Wayanad Lok Sabha constituencies in the recently concluded Lok Sabha polls. While Rahul Gandhi won with a margin of 364422 votes from Wayanad defeating Communist Party of India's Annie Raja, in Raebareli, he won with a margin of 390030 votes from Raebareli defeating Bharatiya Janata Party's Dinesh Pratap Singh.

However, after Rahul Gandhi announced that he would resign as an MP from Wayanad and will keep the Raebareli constituency, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge announced Priyanka Gandhi's candidature from Wayanad last week.
If Priyanka Gandhi wins from Wayanad, three members of the Nehru-Gandhi family will be in Parliament - Sonia Gandhi in Rajya Sabha and Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi in the Lok Sabha.

Earlier on Tuesday, Gandhi took the oath as the Member of Parliament, carrying a copy of the Constitution in his hands.

The leader of the largest opposition party having not less than one-tenth seats of the total strength of the Lok Sabha is recognised as the leader of the Opposition.

He will be a member of crucial committees such as Public Accounts (Chairman), Public Undertakings, Estimates and several Joint Parliamentary Committees.

He is entitled to be a member of various selection committees responsible for appointing heads of statutory bodies like the Central Vigilance Commission, the Central Information Commission, the CBI, the NHRC, and the Lokpal.

He provides constructive criticism of the government policies and to provide an alternative government.

The leader of Opposition in both the Houses were accorded statutory recognition under the Salaries and Allowances of Leader of Opposition in Parliament Act, 1977 and are entitled to the salary, allowances and other facilities equivalent to that of a cabinet minister.

The office of the leader of the opposition is not mentioned in the Constitution.