[Parliament] Leader of Opposition (LoP) appointment controversy, 10% Rule, Consequences

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  1. Leader of Opposition (LoP) in India Parliament
  2. 10% rule: episodes in past?
  3. LoP and Appointment Committees
  4. Arguments: Government vs Opposition
  5. Mock questions

Leader of Opposition (LoP) in India Parliament

  • 1977: The leaders of opposition in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha were given statutory recognition.
  • They provides constructive criticism of the govt. policies.
  • Gets same salaries and allowances that are equivalent to a Cabinet minister – paid by the govt.
  • To become leader of opposition, a political party needs atleast 10% strength of the house.
House total 10% seat means Who is the LoP?
Rajya Sabha 245 25 Ghulam Nabi Azad. Because Congress got 67 seats.
Lok Sabha 543 55 None because Congi 44, AIADMK 37.
  • Congress got only 44 seats in Lok Sabha. Even if you count the whole UPA alliance- its 60 members.
  • But LoP is given only to party leader and not to alliance leader.
  • Therefore, neither congress nor the UPA leader can be declared as the leader of opposition in Lok Sabha.

India Leader of Opposition Lok Sabha

10% rule: episodes in past?

Between why
1952- 1969 (some newspapers say 1952-77) Congress had large majority
1980-84 Same
1984-89 TDP leader was made Leader of opposition, although TDP had 3 seats less than 10% rule.
  • Congress citing that TDP-episode to stake claims over LoP seat in 2014.
  • Final judge: UPSC Speaker of Lok Sabha.
  • She said “No party will get LoP seat this time, because none has won the required 55 seats.”

LoP and Appointment Committees

LoP required in following Committees
CVC
  • PM + Home minister + leader of opposition in LS
  • Although 2003 CVC act says, if no LoP then leader of single largest party can be made part of the Committee.
  • But same act also says if vacancy in Committee, still appointment can be done.
CIC
  • PM + Union minister + Leader of opposition in LS
  • RTI Act says “leader of the single largest party in the Lok Sabha”. (Doesn’t make 10% requirement).
NHRC
  • PM+ Home minister + speaker of LS + dept. chair of RS + leader of Opposition of LS + leader of Opposition of RS
  • As per Protection of Human rights act 1993.- if vacancy in Committee, still appointment can be done.
Lokpal
  • PM + CJI +speaker of LS + leader of opposition in LS + eminent jurist
  • Even here, if vacancy in Committee, still appointment can be made as per Lokpal Act 2013.
NJAC
  • CJI +2 SC judges + law minister + 2 eminent jurist
  • 2 eminent jurist would be recommended by (PM + CJI + leader of opposition in LS)

Arguments: Government vs Opposition?

Government Congi
  • GV Mavalankar,First Lok Sabha speaker- he said main opposition party’s strength must equal the quorum
  • Since quorum rule =10% of total membership
  • Therefore, LoP must be from party with minimum 10% seats.
  • This rule is incorporated in Direction 121(1) in Parliament (facilities) act 1998.
  • They’re citing Parliament Act of 1977- Norms regarding the salary allowances of leader of Opposition.
  • It says – leader of single largest party in the opposition – would get the LoP post. (So there is no 10% requirement mentioned in it!)
  • Earlier even during Congi-raj when they had majority, they did not give LoP seats to <10% walla (Except TDP).
  • Since Speaker has given ruling, the matter is closed.
LoP is necessary to ensure public confidence in candidate selection in the high posts.

Side notes: 2nd ARC even said setup a Civil service Board- for transfer posting of top babus. The members of this Committee, will be selected by PM and LoP.

Mock questions

  • CSAT Prelim: They’ll give a list and ask you to find which members are part of ___ selection Committee. For example- Lokpal selection Committee includes which of the following members…Only 1 and 2, Only 1,3 and 4…. And so on.
  • For lower level exams, GK type question- who is the LoP in Rajya Sabha? Who was the first speaker of Lok Sabha?

Mains (GS2)

  1. Discuss the origin of the “10% strength” rule to become Leader of Opposition in Indian Parliament. 100 words.
  2. Discussion the importance of the Leader of Opposition in Indian polity. 200 words
  3. “Democratic government demands not only a parliamentary majority but also a parliamentary minority.” Elaborate in 200 words.
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55 Comments on “[Parliament] Leader of Opposition (LoP) appointment controversy, 10% Rule, Consequences”

  1. what is the eligibility criteria of LOP

  2. Mrunal.org helps in using time effectively..

  3. No one can beat Mrunal… in giving lucid explanations to the complex and confusing topics. Though this article was published 4 years ago,,, a 2018 PT question was asked on this topic… such is the relevance of Mrunal.org.

  4. A mysterious rule is often quoted by some self-styled experts, which requires a party to have at least 10 per cent of the members of the House for the Speaker to recognise someone as the Leader of Opposition. There is no such rule. Yes, there is direction 121 issued by the Speaker for recognising a party or group for the purpose of providing certain facilities in the House. Under this direction, issued by Speaker G.V. Mavalankar, to be recognised as a legislature party, a party should have at least one-tenth of the strength of the House. This direction relates to the recognition of a party, not the Leader of Opposition.

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