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Congress declares Rahul Gandhi to be Leader of Opposition in 18th Lok Sabha

The Congress party on Tuesday announced that Rahul Gandhi, MP from Raebareli, will serve as the Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the 18th Lok Sabha. This appointment ends a 10-year absence of an official LoP in the Lower House since 2014.

Congress General Secretary KC Venugopal made the announcement in the national capital, saying, “Congress MP Rahul Gandhi has been appointed as the LoP in the Lok Sabha.” This decision comes after the Congress secured 100 seats in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, a substantial improvement from its 52 seats in 2019.

The position of LoP had remained vacant for the past decade as no opposition party met the required minimum of 10% of the total Lok Sabha seats. With the Congress now crossing this threshold, Gandhi’s appointment restores this crucial parliamentary role.

Gandhi, who won from both Raebareli and Wayanad constituencies, has chosen to retain Raebareli. His sister, Priyanka Gandhi, is set to contest the upcoming by-election in Wayanad.

If Priyanka Gandhi wins from Wayanad, three members of the Nehru-Gandhi family will be in Parliament – Sonia Gandhi in Rajya Sabha and Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi in the Lok Sabha.

Earlier today, Gandhi took the oath as the Member of Parliament, carrying a copy of the Constitution in his hands.

The leader of the largest opposition party having not less than one-tenth seats of the total strength of the Lok Sabha is recognised as the leader of the Opposition.

He will be a member of crucial committees such as Public Accounts (Chairman), Public Undertakings, Estimates and several Joint Parliamentary Committees.

He is entitled to be a member of various selection committees responsible for appointing heads of statutory bodies like the Central Vigilance Commission, the Central Information Commission, the CBI, the NHRC, and the Lokpal.

He provides constructive criticism of the government policies and to provide an alternative government.

The leader of Opposition in both the Houses were accorded statutory recognition under the Salaries and Allowances of Leader of Opposition in Parliament Act, 1977 and are entitled to the salary, allowances and other facilities equivalent to that of a cabinet minister.

The office of the leader of the opposition is not mentioned in the Constitution.

(Inputs from ANI)

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