If Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan's decision does not favour a Congress candidate for the Leader of Opposition post, then the party must go to court, senior leader Kamal Nath stated on Sunday.
So far, there is no clarity over Congress getting the Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha. Though Congress is the largest party in the opposition in the House, it lacks the minimum 10 percent majority of seats.
If the Speaker's decision goes against Congress and is "flavoured" by BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, then Congress must go to court, PTI quoted Nath as saying.
The former Parliamentary Affairs minister insisted that there is no rule that a party should not get the Leader of Opposition post, if it lacks 10 percent of the total strength of the 543-member Lok Sabha.
Nath said that generally a Speaker would be neutral, when it comes to dealing with Parliamentary process but it might be different in a contentious situation.
The Union Urban Development and Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naid said in Hyderabad that all parties must obey the Speaker's decision, in the matter of appointing the Leader of Opposition as she is the presiding officer of the House.
"There was no Opposition Leader during Nehruji's regime. There was no Opposition Leader during Indira Gandhi's era. Opposition Leader was not there in Rajiv Gandhi's rule," Naidu stated, fuelling Congress' fears over their prospects of the key position in Lok Sabha.
Taking on BJP, Nath said that the Speaker is from BJP. When it is contentious situation, the Speaker's decision on the appointment of Leader of Oppostion in Lok Sabha would be flavoured by BJP and Modi, Nath speculated, while speaking to a news channel.
The Congress leader was replying to a query on why he was pointing hands at the government in the matter when the decision will be taken by the Speaker.
Nath stressed that he did not mean that the Speaker is acting on the behest of somebody but added that there is always a flavour of BJP and Modi, in the matter of appointing Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha. If the Speaker rules against Congress in the matter, then the party must go to court, it is the only option, he added.
Nath, at the same time, made it clear that Congress would not behave in an obstructive manner in Parliament, simply because it was denied the Leader of Opposition post.
Meanwhile, Naidu pointed out that the decision is left to Speaker.
"It is people's verdict and matter related to Constitution. Speaker's decision should be adhered to and let's see how the Speaker decides. There are some conventions, rules and regulations, precedents and directions of the Speaker. They are all there before us. Everybody has to go by that."