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STRONG OPPOSITION ONLY NEEDED..NOT LEADER

Amid trading of barbs between main opposition Congress and the government over the post of Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Speaker Sumitra Mahahan today said a strong opposition was more important than LoP. On ruling through ordinances, she said it would be better if they were lesser in number. "What is the meaning of Leader of the Opposition. Instead of LoP, a strong opposition is more important. A strong opposition is one which raises its issues effectively. It is not necessary that a strong opposition has a leader," she said. Mahajan was addressing mediapersons at the end of the 77th Conference of Presiding Officers of Legislative Bodies here. The Speaker's comments came against the backdrop of Congress having only 44 members in the Lok Sabha. Though it is the second largest party after BJP (282 members), it still falls short of the 55 members — 10 per cent of the total strength of the Lok Sabha — needed for staking claim to the post. Mahajan has earlier cited precedents of 1980 and 1984, when there was no recognised Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha. The Congress happened to be in power then.

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