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Friday, July 12, 2024

Powers of Lok Sabha Leader of Opposition: A Legislative Overview

Rahul Gandhi, the leader of the Congress, was named the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, a position with specific authority in the Parliament. Since the Congress held fewer than 10% of the seats in the Lok Sabha in 2014 and 2019, this is the first time in ten years that a member of the Congress has been designated the LoP.

The opposition party needs at least 55 seats to claim the Leader of Opposition post in the Lok Sabha, and the Congress party bagged 99 seats in the 2024 general elections.

While the Leader of Opposition is not a constitutional post, it will give certain powers in key decision-making to Rahul Gandhi, which includes key appointments.

What Powers does Leader of Opposition have?

As the Leader of the Opposition, Rahul Gandhi will be a member of crucial parliamentary committees. He will be a member of several Joint Parliamentary Committees, the committees of Public Accounts, Public Undertakings, Estimates, and many more. He will also have a say in the appointment of bureaucrats to key posts.

Further, Gandhi is also entitled to be a member of certain committees responsible for appointing the heads of statutory bodies Central Vigilance Commission, the Central Information Commission, the Central Bureau of Investigation, the National Human Rights Commission of India, Lokpal and more.

Rahul Gandhi is the third member of the Gandhi family to hold the Leader of Opposition post. Before him, his parents Sonia and Rajiv Gandhi held the LOP post. Rajiv Gandhi held the LoP post from 1989-1990 while Sonia held the post from 1999 to 2004.

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla recognised Rahul Gandhi as the leader of opposition on Wednesday, a day after the Congress communicated its decision to name him for the position to the Lok Sabha Secretariat.

The Congress MP from Raebareli in Uttar Pradesh, Gandhi has been recognised as the leader of opposition under Section 2 of the Salary and Allowances of Leaders of Opposition in Parliament Act, 1977.

Thanking Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge on his appointment as LoP, Gandhi posted on X, “I thank Congress president @kharge ji, and all the Congress leaders and ‘babbar sher’ karyakartas from across the country for their overwhelming support and warm wishes. Together, we will raise the voice of every Indian in Parliament, protect our Constitution, and hold the NDA (National Democratic Alliance) government accountable for their actions.”

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