New Delhi :
The Congress on Saturday said it will not formally stake a claim for the post of Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha since the grand old party doesn’t have required numbers.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said that the Congress is two short of the majority and therefore we can’t have a Leader of Opposition.
"We will not stake claim to the Leader of Opposition post till we have the strength of 54 and since we don't have the required numbers, we are not going to stake claim," Randeep Singh Surjewala said on Saturday.
“However onus also lies at doorsteps of govt-whether they want to designate a party formally as principal opposition or not,” he added.
According to rules, a party needs to have 10 per cent total strength of Lok Sabha to qualify for the post of Leader of Opposition, which is a Cabinet rank position. However, Congress managed to won only 52 seats in the recently concluded general elections.
Even in the 16th Lok Sabha, the Leader of the Congress party in the House, Mallikarjun Kharge, was not granted the Leader of Opposition status as the party had won only 44 seats in 2014.
Earlier in the day, the Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP) met for the first time after the Lok Sabha elections and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi was elected as its leader.
However, suspense over the post of Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha continues. The party has authorised Sonia Gandhi to take the decision on Leader of Congress.