Congress today pitched for the post of Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha notwithstanding a taunt by Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu that people have not chosen any party for the position.
Seeking a "quick and proper" decision on the issue, Congress spokesman Anand Sharma told reporters "we feel this is an important (post).... and should not be denied to the largest party" in the opposition. "There is a constitutional role the LoP plays and we leave it to their wisdom. What is the government view will be known through the Speaker," he said.
To a question whether the party can stake claim to the post for leading the UPA, which is a pre-poll alliance and which has secured the requisite numbers, he said that the issue should not be made controversial as all facts are in public domain. "A proper decision should be taken without delay", he said.
Sharma's comments came even as Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu's taunted the Congress saying people have not chosen a party for the post.
At the same time, Naidu made it clear that the matter is still "not foreclosed". "The Congress is not able to understand the spirit of the mandate. The Congress should introspect over its miserable defeat. People have not chosen any Leader of the Opposition and that is the position. "But I am not foreclosing the issue. If any party had got 55 seats, there would have been no discussion on the issue at all....It is a prerogative of the Speaker," he said.