opposition post: Congress may take battle to court

NEW DELHI: The Congress is mulling the option of moving court if it is denied the post of leader of opposition in Lok Sabha, a possibility that may up its confrontation with the ruling BJP.Sources said there is a strong section within pushing for a legal battle, stating that the party has a strong case to test the Modi government.
A final decision on the legal challenge may depend on the reasons that the Speaker may give to back her refusal to the Congress.
The issue seems to be nearing a denouement with the approach of the budget session, nudging Congress to up its efforts to push its case. While Congress leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjuna Kharge and chief whip Jyotiraditya Scindia met Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on Sunday, the party is planning to submit a detailed representation to her.
Sources said Congress was unlikely to give up its claim and a denial was bound to be seen as government’s confrontationist attitude towards the rival. It is to be seen if the party would make it an issue ahead of the all important budget to be presented on Thursday, especially in the wake of it soft-pedalling the earlier controversy over the Army chief.
According to partymen, the leadership realizes the criticality of being seen as standing up for its rights in the new regime since it goes beyond the objective of taking on the BJP to signaling a combative attitude to its demoralized workers.The rout in Lok Sabha elections and the tough assembly contest ahead has plunged the Congress morale low. With BJP heading a majority government impervious to coalition pressures, the Congress has to look at new ways to rejuvenate its workers. Taking on the BJP seems crucial in that strategy.
Giving up without a fight could further compromise the esteem of the Congress among the regional parties, who are not positively inclined towards it but remain potential allies given the possibility of their clashing with the Centre.Senior AICC managers suggest that Congress should adopt an aggressive attitude on the floor of the parliament ahead of the budget and make it clear that the government is being “undemocratic”. Suddenly, there is not dearth of leaders arguing against the theoretical position that the Speaker decides the issue, adding that it is ultimately the decision of the government.


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