Sonia meets President as Congress seeks Leader of Opposition status

New Delhi : Congress chief Sonia Gandhi Tuesday met President Pranab Mukherjee amid the party’s keen desire that its leader in the Lok Sabha should be accorded the status of Leader of Opposition.

Party leaders said that Gandhi met the President but termed it as “courtesy meeting”.

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The Congress is keen on the post of Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, saying that it is the second largest party in the lower house and was the lead party of United Progressive Alliance.

Gandhi herself has articulated the demand, saying that the Congress was single largest opposition party and had a pre-poll alliance.

“We are entitled to get the post of Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha,” she said Monday.

The Congress has 44 members in the Lok Sabha. However, its strength is less than 10 percent of the total strength of the house, which stands at 545.

Bharatiya Janata Party leaders have cited precedents to indicate that it was not favourably inclined towards the Congress demand. However, the party has said that the decision rests with Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.