Confusion over the issue of Leader of Opposition took over the Delhi assembly with the Opposition maintaining that it will not ‘beg’ for the post.
Newly-appointed Delhi assembly Speaker Ram Niwas Goel said the BJP would be given the post if it asks for it. “I will be meeting the three BJP legislators and we will give them the Leader of Opposition status if they ask for it,” said Goel after taking over as the new Speaker.
According to AAP, a party needs 10% of the House strength to qualify for the post, but the BJP got only three seats in the Delhi polls, while the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) won 67 seats of the 70 seats.
BJP’s legislative party leader Vijender Gupta said that his party does not believe in posts but the rule of law has to be followed. “We will abide by whatever decision the assembly takes. We will not make any such requests but at the same time no one is above law. If we are given the post, we will think about it,” said Gupta.
Sources say, in case the Opposition doesn’t have the requisite numbers then the Speaker has the power to grant the status of LoP. However, if the party fails to get the required number then a decision is taken after consultation with the leader of the house. When asked about the government’s position on the issue, deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia simply said, “Let’s see.”
Sources, however, said that AAP is likely to give BJP the post.
Gupta, meanwhile, accused AAP of hatching a conspiracy by not allotting them the seats meant for the opposition as they wanted to ridicule the BJP. “The Opposition has a big role to play in democracy and by taking recourse to such tricks AAP is only maligning itself.
AAP wanted us not to get the seats and in the seating plan also our seats were allocated further back to humiliate us. But the secretariat ensured that we got our due space in the assembly,” he said.