Sonia Gandhi to host lunch for UPA lawmakers today

soniaNEW DELHI : Congress president Sonia Gandhi will on Tuesday host a lunch for all UPA Members of Parliament. It would be the first such occasion for the UPA MPs to interact with Sonia Gandhi and other leaders since the worst electoral debacle of the Congress-led alliance in the Lok Sabha polls.
The Congress chief held a strategy session with party leaders in Parliament on Monday, ahead of the two-day debate in Parliament on the Motion of Thanks to the President for his address.
The deliberations took place at a time when there is no final word on Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha. Report claim that Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, after proper consultations with the government and taking into account past practices and precedence, has decided that the 16th Lok Sabha will not have a Leader of the Opposition.
Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and the party’s leader in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad attended the strategy meeting yesterday. Both Kharge and Azad will be the party’s first speakers while Deputy leaders from Lok Sabha Amarinder Singh and Rajya Sabha Anand Sharma will be other key speakers from the party.
According to Parliament rules, the biggest Opposition party in the House has to have at least 10 percent of the total strength of the Lok Sabha, or 55 seats, to be eligible for the post of Leader of Opposition.
In the Lok Sabha elected last month, no party has that number. The Congress, with 44 MPs is the largest Opposition party, closely followed by J Jayalalithaa’s AIADMK at 37.
The BJP won 282 seats, and with its allies, enjoys a strength of 336 MPs in the House.The BJP-led government of Narendra Modi had earlier said it would study precedence to decide whether or not to allow the Congress the post of LOP.

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