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Current Affairs

Leader of opposition

Date: 16 February 2021 Tags: Constitution

Issue

Senior Karnataka Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge has been appointed as the leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha.

 

Background

The Leader of opposition position fell vacant after Ghulam Nabi Azad’s term in Rajya Sabha expired.

 

Details

  • The Leader of the Opposition (LoP) is the politician who leads the official opposition in either House of the Parliament of India.

  • The Leader of the opposition is the parliamentary chairperson of the party with the most seats after the government party.

  • The Leader of opposition received statutory recognition through the Salary and Allowances of Leaders of Opposition in Parliament Act, 1977.

  • The act  defines the term "Leader of the Opposition" as that member of the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha who, for the time being, is the Leader of that House of the Party in Opposition to the Government having the greatest numerical strength and recognised, as such, by the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha or the Speaker of the Lok Sabha.

  • As per the Salary and Allowances of Leaders of Opposition in Parliament Act, 1977 by which the post has got official and statutory status, the majority required is decided by the heads of the houses, that is speaker and chairman.

  • The Central Vigilance Commission Act, 2003, provides for the leader of the largest opposition party to be inducted as a member of the selection committee in a scenario where the lower house of parliament does not have a recognised leader of the opposition.

 

Powers and functions

  • The Opposition's main role is to question the government of the day and hold them accountable to the public. This also helps to fix the mistakes of the Ruling Party.

  • The Opposition is equally responsible in upholding the best interests of the people of the country.