A bigger debate than which party will get the 'leader of opposition' in Parliament is who will play the actual opposition to the Narendra Modi government.
Trinamool Congress leaders, on their part, are hoping that the opposition block Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee is trying to put together with the help of Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa would be more attractive to the ruling BJP than a Congress-led opposition.
"If the opposition space is controlled by regional parties, it will allow the BJP to smoothly carry on work in Parliament. Parties led by Mamata are not in a position to nurture any pan-Indian dreams at present and will only seek their regional dues," a senior TMC MP told HT on Tuesday.
The TMC, on the other hand, would be able to clinch 'Bengal's due' and protect the interests of regional parties.
Mamata is eyeing two positions for the block. "If Jayalalithaa wants the leader of opposition to be from her party (on account of her bigger tally at 37), Mamata, with 34 MPs, might ask for a deputy speaker slot," said another MP.
However, TMC leaders added that though the move was made a couple of days ago, there hasn't been any progress yet.
They argue that if the Tamil Nadu CM does not respond, it doesn't necessarily spell the end for Mamata. She will try to tie up with Jaganmohan Reddy or Naveen Patnaik.
TMC leaders also feel that this block will force the Congress to support it in key issues in Parliament.
Though Mamata-Modi relations are not good, her relations with senior BJP leaders Rajnath Singh and LK Advani might help her get the Centre's support on development issues.
The TMC is not only dependent on the Centre for a fiscal bailout package, but also has to protect party leaders and her image in the wake of the impending CBI probe into Saradha.