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

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Unacademy Plus Mrunal Economy for Prelims and Mains UPSC!
  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
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
Indian History Freedom Struggle Pratik Nayak

55 Comments on “[Parliament] Leader of Opposition (LoP) appointment controversy, 10% Rule, Consequences”

  1. although the rules and procedure are there for the 10% rule but the seat for LoP should be given to congress because—-
    1.they are the largest after the majority govt.
    2. they also represent the choice of a large portion of people. in a huge democracy like india, 44 seats count. central govt should not neglect their choice. it goes against the basic principle of participatory democracy
    3. even if bjp govt. want to advertise their strength by not giving the post of LoP to cong…but like the proverb silence is better than sword. just like the seat given to congress would give them the image of their generosity and inclusiveness…
    4. it also promotes—SABKA SAATH, SABKA VIKASH
    5. it is instrumental post for the cvc, cic, lokpal, nhrc etc…

    correct me if i am wrong…

  2. Bro ..I think your evaluation is somewhere incomplete ..because you have not given a thought to the possibilities which may come to the surface after speaker appoint opposition leader from congress ..it might be possible that AIADMK and TMC will come together and claim that their coalition has Max.no of seats so they should be facilitated with leader of opposition seat …then again speaker has to appoint a new candidate ..and what if coalition will fall with in few days …again you have to appoint new one leader of opp. So to avoid the tenancy its better to leave the seat vacant

    1. But the article says LoP should be from a single party, he should not the leader of merger parties.

    2. There is no any constitutional obligation that speaker will recognise LoP to coalition . 10% system is even taken from citing various consensus so for better working of democracy and since there was no need of LoP was felt before 70s because that time there was no requirement of appointment committee like CIC ,lokpal,najc etc . If you even see the rules of these institution that clearly says that there should be a leader of LARGEST OPPOSITION PARTY. So for intensify the faith in democracy it should be a LoP for rank and facilities it for democracy

  3. Thanks for giving details.

    1. thanks a lot for helping us

  4. Position of LoP must secure to put check and for criticism of govt policies. As it is must to have of some contradictory thinking to ensure greater transparancy.

    i have one doubt regarding constitution amendment bill.
    my question is –
    Is it mandatory for the state legislature(half of states ) to pass the bill (affecting federal structure) by a simple majority ?.
    What if the state legislature rejects the bill or send back to house for reconsideration ?.If so which house must it be send (lok sabha or rajya sabha )
    And what if there is disagreement between the legislative assembly and council ?

    pls answer me….i have no other source for my query as i m self preparing ?
    thanx in anticipation.

    1. @AVINASH
      1. yes, it is mandatory for half of the states to pass the bill if it is a constitutional amendment bill affecting the federal structure
      2. when the bill goes to state legislature—-

      a. it is considered only in state legislature, not in state legislative council. so no question about disagreement over the bill
      b.state legislature has only two options—either to pass it or to reject it. they cant send it back for reconsideration. a bill can be send back for reconsideration only by governor(to state assembly) or by president(to parliament), if it is not a money bill or constitutional amendment bill.

      i will be happy if it helps you.

      you can also refer to m.laxmikant chapter 10 of 4th edition

      1. what is federal structure?

        1. Federal structure-
          which affects the following–
          distribution of power between union and states(schedule 7 ), representation of states in parliament,powers of president,governor,high court and supreme court,art 368 itself

          1. thank u avinash…!!!

      2. thank u…
        but they can give suggestion in the bill.isnt it ? pls clarify

        1. If it’s not passed by more than 50% state legislatures, it’ll not become a law…..simply….

      3. It is “more than half” and not half

        1. Sorry..it is “half” and not “more than half”..my bad!!

  6. I do not understand why my comment is awaiting moderation??

    It is still not clear how the 10% requirement originated.
    I request anyone to please elaborate.

    Also it would be better if you explain the historical background in a timeline format.

    1. historical background is given in the Government article- first Mavlankar said 10% quoram, hence 10% LoP strength.

    2. @ the warlord

      The 10% rule for LoP was incorporated based on the rationale that Leader of Opposition being in line to form an alternative govt. should be able to hold the House with the required quorum (which is 10%).
      10% rule was estd. by Mavalankar and later incorporated in Direction 121 though it did not mention the post of LoP specifically
      ( Read it here http://parliamentofindia.nic.in/ls/direct/dirp9.html )
      The LoP post is only mentioned in the 1977 statute that deals with LoP’s salary and defines it as “LoP shall be the leader of the party in the opposition with the greatest numerical strength and recognized as such by the speaker”

  7. In the last q does parliamentary minority mean 10% rule satisfying opposition party?if so do we only need to write about role of lop?

  8. sir according to me cong should not get lop because they dont follow the quorum rule which says that minimum 10% seat should be there to get lop post. moreover i would also like to say that the party which were getting majority for 60 yrs is unable to make a few 10% seat and this shows people don’t want to see congress in parliament and take part in decision .
    yes off course you have the correct question that this party got 44 seats and the largest party after bjp so he should get lop but i would like to say that with only 8% , should he be allowed to participate in parliamentary activity ? there is option available for different committee if lop is not there .

    1. Brother, congress despite winning few seats still managed to get around 10 crore votes, almost equivalent to their 2004 tally n slightly less than their 2011(11 cr) tally so it’s not entirely out of line in begging… I mean claiming for lop.

  9. What are the four events in the life of Buddha that have been primarily depicted in different forms of Buddhist art ? What did they symbolize ?

    1. @mahfooz

      birth, enlightenment, first sermon(teaching), death:::
      white elephant, Bodhi Tree,Dhammacakka and i dont remenber what for death..respectively.

      i think i know u…..

      if the number 150 means something to you …..like the 1st test ….. do reply…

      1. @ Aazad Parindey………….. Thanx dear for posting the answer………… Actually there was a confusion regarding…. Regarding number of stages…. Apart from Birth, Enlightenment and Mahaparinirvana……. the other one should be Renunciation or the First Great Sermon…..
        Anyways you also have Political Science as an optional i suppose…..

    2. Actually there are 5 symbols associated with buddhism-
      1. Enlightenment- symbol is peepal tree
      2. Birth of buddha- symbol is lotus/elephant
      3. Mahaparinirvana (death of buddha)- stupa
      4. Mahabhinishkraman (renunciation)- horse
      5. Dharmachakraparivartan (delivery of first sermon by buddha) – chakra

  10. With reference to NJAC the leader of the single largest group in opposition shall be deemed to be leader of opposition-SC verdict in TSR Subramanium case.
    Source-IE article Who’s eminent

  11. Agar LOP de denge congress ko to chote nahi ho jayenge.Akhir azad bharat k itihaas me pehli baar mauka mila hai akad dikhane ka.So let them ENJOY.

  12. leader of opposition post should be given to single largest party in this case because:

    1)lop is required in appointments like CIC,CVC,NJAC,LOKPAL,NHRC

    2)it is included in the appointments above to prevent or atleast expose the abuse of power by ruling party and the appointments
    mentioned above deals with the major sensitive issues like corruption, human rights and judiciary where a ruling party can misuse its power.

    3)before BJP coming to power human rights was a major discussion and coming to power independence of judiciary in the light of all these Lpo post should be filled.

  13. CIC = PM + Union minister + Leader of opposition in LS
    Sir here Union minister in the sense..??
    Information and broadcastn Min. Or Any Other

  14. In Njac 2 eminent jurist or 2 eminent Persons

  15. Hello sir,
    In one of the statements its mentioned- 10% requirement in the statutory provision of 1977 but in another statement related to parliament act 1977 no such requirement is mandatory…both the statements seem confusing…so plz clarify :)

    1. even i have the same doubt, if someone can please throw some light on this.. Ty :)

      1. that 10% requirement was when GV mavlankar said about it. he was our first speaker hence it should be in early 50s
        in 1977 parliamentary act, 10% not mandatory.

  16. TDP won 33 seats during 8th lok sabha ….correct me if i am wrong

  17. All persons following mrunal sir’s article are requested to give solution for LoP ??
    What could b the bst policy for appointing LoP in this situation???

  18. What is this tag “Rajtanil” about?

  19. TDP got 30 (Not 3) seats in general election of 84

  20. 1.Direction 121 of the Directions of the Speaker which says that in recognising a Parliamentary Party or Group, the Speaker should ensure that it shall have at least a strength equal to the quorum fixed to constitute a sitting of the House, that is one-tenth of the total number of members of the House.
    2.Salary and allowances of leaders of opposition in Parliament Act, 1977
    Section 2 of the 1977 Act defines the LOP of each House as “the leader in that House of the party in opposition to the Government having the greatest numerical strength”. => Thus, NO mention of 10% criteria here
    BUT, the 1977 law also enters the caveat that the Opposition party in question will have to be “recognized as such” by the presiding officer of the House. (and Speaker uses Direction 121 for recognising the Opposition party so 10% criteria comes in)
    • Thus by a combined reading of Direction 121 and Section 2 of the 1977 Act, the practice of insisting the minimum requirement of 55 members has evolved. (This is also the Speaker’s argument for not giving LoP post to Congress)
    Congress’s Argument- directions of the Speaker cannot override a statutory requirement i.e Section 2 of the 1977 Act should prevail over Direction 121.
    But, Speaker cites another act(discussed below) to support their stand of why Congress can not be given LoP post.
    3. The leaders and chief whips of recognized parties and groups in Parliament (facilities) Act, 1998
    It distinguishes a recognized party from a distinguished group for the purpose of providing different levels of facilities to the two categories.
    Section 2 of this act specifies that the cut off for Lok Sabha is 55 members and Rajya Sabha is 25, each of which is about 10% of the total strength of the respective House.

    Congress’s Argument: Section 2 (b) of the Act defines recognised party for a different purpose — for grant of certain facilities for Chief Whips. The said section defines recognised party as a party, which has a strength of not less than 55 members in the House. However this argument is fallacious since the object of the two Acts are totally different and the prerequisite of one Act cannot be read into another Act to curtail its scope.


  21. sir , iam not able to locate the link for your past economy articles..
    please help!

  22. Can any one tell me the difference between explicit and implicit subsidies? Thanks.

  23. So many short forms used!! – CIC,CVC,NJAC,LOKPAL,NHRC, ARC
    Kindly at least specify what context they come in !!! (Yes, I have heard of Google)

  24. mrunal am not getting your explanations about selection committee and LoP…..to which committees mallikarjun kharge becomes member though Congress does not have 10%……rajtanil clear my doubt…..and congregation for clearing prelims …..gud luck for mains…..but pls clear my this doubt..

  25. Dear Mrunal, I want to draw your attention to an article published in Economic Times dated Oct 17, 2014. A person from Mumbai had filed RTI regarding 10% seat requirement to get LOP. He got reply from the Lok Sabha Secretariat that there is no rule of 10% min seat requirement for to be given LOP. I suppose, the Secretariat of Lok Sabha can’t go wrong. Hence, request you to clear the air about 10% min seat rules.


  26. Fut Ref:

    1. Not constitutional
    2. G.V Mavlankar= 10 % of sanctioned strength of house i.e total strength by constitution – 552/10=55.2
    3. It 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.
    4. Point 3 only for salary, not recognition
    5. Decided by Speaker

    5th L.S not to have LoP.
    None of R.s have ever been without LoP

    1. Until 1984 there were no 5 bodies(besides Police Board and C.S board) where LoP is needed in select committe
    2. Leads the opposition
    3. May be called to attend important meetings so avoid floor management later
    4. Hold govt. accountable
    5. BJP=31% votes only. The majority has not voted for BJP. So, to protect the rights/ interest of those , LoP is must
    6. Could be given status w/o Salary
    7. Even Congress allowed TDP LoP in 1984.

    Parliament is not about BJP or Congress. It’s about interest of nations. LoP is needed for that. Eye 4 eye= Blind

  27. Plz tell me exactly the fact regarding this whole LoP thing,whatever I am reading here is making me very confused

  28. Why there is provision in people representation act for candidates to allow to elect in two different constituency & is it for the local elections too

  29. is there any provision that present concept of 10 %members in L S for L O P, is also applicable to local bodies such as municipal corp and panchyati raj

  30. LOP is also chairman of PAC.

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