Image Source : PTI Congress MP Rahul Gandhi

Lok Sabha session: The Congress on Tuesday declared that Rahul Gandhi will be the Leader of the Opposition (LoP) in the 18th Lok Sabha. The decision was made at a meeting of floor leaders of the I.N.D.I.A bloc held at the residence of Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge today.

Rahul Gandhi has been an MP for five terms and currently represents the Rae Bareli constituency in the Lok Sabha. He took the oath as an MP on Tuesday while holding a copy of the Constitution.

The Congress, as the largest opposition party, has attained the Leader of the Opposition (LoP) position after a decade. In the previous two elections, it did not meet the 10 per cent membership threshold in the Lok Sabha necessary to secure the post.

Sonia Gandhi informed Pro-tem Speaker about appointed of LoP

Addressing the media after the meeting of floor leaders of the I.N.D.I.A bloc, Congress general secretary KC Venugopal said, “Congress MP Rahul Gandhi has been appointed as the LoP in the Lok Sabha. Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP) chairperson Sonia Gandhi wrote to Pro-tem Speaker Bhartruhari Mahtab, informing him of the decision to appoint Rahul Gandhi as the Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha,” senior party leader KC Venugopal told reporters after the meeting.”

Lok Sabha gets LoP after 10 years

The 18th Lok Sabha will have a Leader of the Opposition (LoP) for the first time in ten years. This time, the leader of Congress, which is the largest opposition party in the Lok Sabha with 99 MPs, has been recognized as the Leader of the Opposition (LoP).

In the previous two Lok Sabhas, the Congress, as the largest opposition party, could not secure the post because it did not meet the required number, which is one-tenth of the strength of the House. In the 16th Lok Sabha, the Congress had 44 MPs, while in the 17th Lok Sabha, it had 55.

The post of LoP was not recognised till 1969 when Ram Subhag Singh became the first recognised LoP of the Lok Sabha.

The post received statutory recognition through the Salary and Allowances of Leaders of Opposition in Parliament Act, 1977 which defines the term ‘Leader of the Opposition’ as that member of the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha who, for the time being, is the leader of that House of the party in opposition to the government having the greatest numerical strength and recognised, as such, by the chairman of the Rajya Sabha or the speaker of the Lok Sabha.

Rahul Gandhi takes oath as MP

Earlier in the day, Rahul Gandhi took oath as Lok Sabha MP and displayed the Constitution in his hand, showing it to both the treasury and Opposition benches. He ended his oath-taking with slogans of ‘Jai Hind, Jai Samvidhan’.

As Rahul finished his swearing-in, the Opposition benches raised slogans and welcomed him back into the benches.

The oath-taking ceremony of the elected representatives was held on June 24 and 25 as the first session of the 18th Lok Sabha began yesterday. The ceremony began with the oath-taking of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, followed by his council of ministers.

Also Read: Rahul Gandhi, with Constitution book in hand, takes oath as MP: ‘Jai Hind, Jai Samvidhan’ | WATCH

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