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Haryana: Confusion over next LoP continues in run up to next session

Indian Express 2019-07-18 04:19:59

While INLD’s number of MLAs have gone down over the last few months resulting in its leader Abhay Chautala losing his Leader of Opposition status, ongoing infighting within Congress has added to the uncertainty.

With barely two weeks to go for the Haryana Vidhan Sabha’s monsoon session that commences on August 2, confusion continues to prevail on the next Leader of Opposition.

While INLD’s number of MLAs have gone down over the last few months resulting in its leader Abhay Chautala losing his Leader of Opposition status, ongoing infighting within Congress has added to the uncertainty.

Although Congress Legislative Party (CLP) leader Kiran Choudhry has staked claim for the LoP’s post by writing a letter to the Vidhan Sabha Speaker Kanwar Pal, the Speaker has refused to act upon it citing “precedents”.

Talking to , Kanwar Pal said, “There are precedents that show that an MLA can be a Leader of Opposition once his/her party’s MLAs unanimously pass a resolution and that resolution is then sent to the Speaker. It is then the Speaker recognises the Leader of Opposition. However, in Congress’ case, this has not happened so far. If Congress passes a resolution on this and sends it to me, I will take necessary action”.

On the other hand, the Vidhan Sabha staff are preparing the fresh seating plan for the upcoming session. Since Congress now has more strength than INLD, Congress legislators will be taking seats opposite the treasury benches while INLD legislators will occupy seats where Congress lawmakers earlier sat.

The INLD had won 19 out of 90 seats in 2014 assembly polls, while Congress won 15. formed the government with absolute majority by winning 47 seats. However, over the last five years, two INLD legislators died, five have resigned from their Vidhan Sabha membership and joined BJP, while four INLD MLAs have sided with newly formed Jannayak Janta Party, JJP. Consequently, INLD’s effective strength in the Vidhan Sabha has been reduced to eight MLAs only.