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BJP Govt should agree for LoP: Election among opposition parties may be a way!
Supreme Court has given four weeks time to the Central government for its response on the status of Leader of Opposition in the Parliament. The apex court said that LoP's presence in the panel to appoint people Constitutional positions like Lokpal is desirable as it represents the view of the opposition.

At the moment the BJP government has little upper hand. The Lokpal and Lokayukta act 2013 passed by the UPA government says that 'No appointment of a chairperson or a member shall be invalid merely by reason of any vacancy in the selection committee.' Thus government can hold its argument in appointing Lokpal citing vacancy of LoP as per Speaker's ruling.

SC has no scope to over-rule Speaker's ruling and hence the court may not instruct the government for LoP appointment. Further in line of National Judicial Appointment Commission (NJAC) Act, 2014, the government can say to SC that they would be moving an amendment to consider leader of the largest party as one of the panel members in the absence of LoP. They can also offer to include LoP of Rajya Sabha, if there is no LP in Lok Sabha.

Thus politically and technically too, BJP government is in advantageous position to deny Congress the official LoP status. Same thing may be applied for the appointment of CIC, CVC etc. In such administrative decisions that include Speakers ruling, SC has always limited role. Thus if Congress thinks that they had got a chance to get the LoP status, they might be in fool's paradise.

But thinking deeply, BJP government should think once more to have an official LoP. Narendra Modi talks about inclusive politics. During independence day speech he openly said that he wanted to take all parties with him in building a new, stronger and prosperous India. If BJP government wants to take all, then why it shouldn't be gracious enough to allow a LoP? If previous Congress governments played intolerance politics, why the NDA government is following this? In fact if it allows for an official LoP, it would get much more appreciation from every quarter.

I can say another way of appointing LoP which would be politically advantageous to BJP. It should propose an election among the opposition parties. For example, in the present Lok Sabha, the highest number of members by an opposition party is 44. But there are other parties too. If one party fails to get the status of LoP, then this power should be transferred to other opposition parties. Let all parties except NDA select their leader as LoP. Let there be an election among the MPs of Lok Sabha minus NDA MPs. Whoever wins would be the official LOP.

Bottom line is, in today's polity, LoP is an important part. Modi government shouldn't follow past Congress regimes. It should set new precedence! Hope BJP and the government would consider this for the interest of the polity, government as well as nation.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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