The Congress on Tuesday accused the NDA government of playing "petty politics" over the issue of the leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha and hoped Speaker Sumitra Mahajan would not allow her judgement to be "coloured" by various shades of politics.
"The post of LoP is the Congress' right. It is important, inherent and necessary for the proper functioning of a parliamentary democracy," party spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said. "Both, as the biggest party and also the biggest pre-poll alliance other than the ruling alliance, Congress is a natural claimant for the post of LoP."
Captain Amarinder Singh, Congress party's deputy leader in the Lok Sabha, said his party has written to the Speaker, who is yet to take a decision.
"This means a decision will be taken in consultation with the government. This means whatever the government will want will happen," he said.
Senior Congress leader Kamal Nath said some parties and members "feel that many of the issues which they want to raise are not being given importance".
The government reacted angrily. Minister of state for parliamentary affairs Prakash Javadekar said "casting aspersions" on the Speaker was "outrageous, condemnable and unacceptable" and showed the Congress' "desperation".
On her part, Mahajan maintained that it was her endeavour to give equal time to all. "This is indeed my effort that all parties get equal chance to speak and I am striving for it," she told reporters.